Extraterrestrial life News

Did the asteroid hit that killed the dinosaurs blow bacteria to Mars?

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Picture of the Planet Mars Some are asking. (For how devastating a hit like the dino bye-bye Chicxulub, 66 mya could be, see here.) Meanwhile:

The impact has been blamed for the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, triggering volcanic eruptions and wildfires which choked the planet with smoke and dust.

It also launched about 70 billion kg of rock into space – 20,000kg of which could have reached Europa. And the chances that a rock big enough to harbour life arrived are “better than 50/50”, researchers estimate.

But could living organisms actually survive these epic trips?

“I’d be surprised if life hasn’t gotten to Mars,” Ms Worth told BBC News.

“It’s beyond the scope of our study. But it seems reasonable that at some point some Earth organisms have made it over there.”

But could life have survived there for any length of time is the next question.

As I noted in a recent article, many hypotheses about life on Mars are currently floating around, in various states of relationship with the evidence at any given time:

There was indeed water on Mars a long time ago there but then, we are told, a 600 million year drought ensued, so some now continue the search underground. Others look for life in the Martian pits. Or Mars’ volcanic glass. Still others search asteroid craters on Earth for clues to Mars “hiding life”. And some, impatient with Mars perhaps, hope to find life in undersea caves elsewhere in our solar system.

Channels of life-giving Martian water turned out to be frozen lava. Doesn’t matter; lava freezes but the dream never dies. Maybe the water, like the life, is underground. More.

The asteroid impact theory has the advantage that we are not expecting bacteria to get started there independently, just survive there for some millions of years.

One Reply to “Did the asteroid hit that killed the dinosaurs blow bacteria to Mars?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: New video upload from TEDx
    The operating system of life – animated protein robots – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JufLDxmCwB0

    Notes:

    Venter: Life Is Robotic Software – July 15, 2012
    Excerpt: “All living cells that we know of on this planet are ‘DNA software’-driven biological machines comprised of hundreds of thousands of protein robots, coded for by the DNA, that carry out precise functions,” said (Craig) Venter.
    http://crev.info/2012/07/life-is-robotic-software/

    How we could create life – The key to existence will be found not in primordial sludge, but in the nanotechnology of the living cell – Paul Davies – 11 December 2002
    Excerpt: Instead, the living cell is best thought of as a supercomputer – an information processing and replicating system of astonishing complexity. DNA is not a special life-giving molecule, but a genetic databank that transmits its information using a mathematical code. Most of the workings of the cell are best described, not in terms of material stuff – hardware – but as information, or software. Trying to make life by mixing chemicals in a test tube is like soldering switches and wires in an attempt to produce Windows 98. It won’t work because it addresses the problem at the wrong conceptual level.
    http://www.theguardian.com/edu.....ucation.uk

    The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines
    “We have always underestimated cells. Undoubtedly we still do today,,, Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each which is composed of a set of large protein machines.”
    Bruce Alberts: Former President, National Academy of Sciences;
    http://www.imbb.forth.gr/peopl.....erts98.pdf

    Problems with the Metaphor of a Cell as “Machine” – July 2012
    Excerpt: Too often, we envision the cell as a “factory” containing a fixed complement of “machinery” operating according to “instructions” (or “software” or “blueprints”) contained in the genome and spitting out the “gene products” (proteins) that sustain life.
    Many things are wrong with this picture, but one of the problems that needs to be discussed more openly is the fact that in this “factory,” many if not most of the “machines” are themselves constantly turning over — being assembled when and where they are needed, and disassembled afterwards. The mitotic spindle…is one of the best-known examples, but there are many others.
    Funny sort of “factory” that, with the “machinery” itself popping in and out of existence as needed!,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62691.html

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