Life on Mars? ‘Fettuccine’ rocks could be ‘obvious sign of life’


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The seek for life on Mars might come down as to whether the Pink Planet is extra like Olive Backyard than the Brooklyn Botanic Backyard.

In accordance with a brand new analysis paper revealed within the scientific journal Astrobiology, rocks that appear like the Italian pasta fettuccine will be the clearest signal that micro organism, often called Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense, lived on historical Mars.

“If we see the deposition of this sort of in depth filamentous rock on different planets, we might realize it’s a fingerprint of life,” College of Illinois geology professor Bruce Fouke mentioned in an announcement. “It’s huge and it’s distinctive. No different rocks appear like this. It could be definitive proof of the presence of alien microbes.”

Spring System at Yellowstone. (Credit: Bruce Fouke)

Spring System at Yellowstone. (Credit score: Bruce Fouke)


Fouke added credence to the notion that Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense might have been on historical Mars, stating that the micro organism descended from different micro organism that lived on Earth roughly 2.35 billion years in the past, previous to the oxygenation of our planet.

The micro organism, which Fouke additionally calls “Sulfuri,” was taken from Yellowstone Nationwide Park’s Mammoth Sizzling Springs, analyzed and located to have properties that may let it dwell in “extraordinarily sizzling, fast-flowing water effervescent up from underground sizzling springs.” Unsurprisingly, Fouke and his crew used sterilized pasta forks to gather the samples.

Sulfuri can be capable of stand up to publicity to ultraviolet gentle and makes use of sulfur and carbon dioxide as power, thriving in areas with low oxygen ranges.

“Taken collectively, these traits make it a chief candidate for colonizing Mars and different planets,” Fouke added.

In Yellowstone, the micro organism dwell in strings as much as four inches in size, which then stick collectively. They then get “entombed” by rock and coated with calcium carbonate crystals in what seems like layers of pasta. The rocks “cling on for pricey life” in fast-flowing water, Fouke mentioned, which assist type their distinctive form.

“They type tightly wound cables that wave like a flag that’s mounted on one finish,” he continued. “These Sulfuri cables look amazingly like fettuccine pasta, whereas additional downstream look extra like capellini pasta,” Fouke mentioned.

Sufuri Fieldshot at Yellowstone. (Credit: Bruce Fouke)

Sufuri Fieldshot at Yellowstone. (Credit score: Bruce Fouke)


In accordance with NASA, which funded Fouke’s research, Mars’ ambiance is 95 % carbon dioxide and accommodates simply zero.13 % oxygen. By comparability, Earth’s ambiance is 78.09 % nitrogen and 20.95 % oxygen.

By working exams on each the micro organism and rock, taking a look at DNA samples and the crystal carbonite (travertine), the researchers concluded that its presence could possibly be simply discovered, if life existed on Mars billions of years in the past.

“This ought to be a simple type of fossilized life for a rover to detect on different planets,” Fouke mentioned.


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