Life on Mars? Scientists hope to find it by decoding Martian DNA - ’We Can Rebuild Them’
2012-10-22 0:00

By Karen Kaplan | Phys.org





Apparently, there just aren’t enough genomes for Craig Venter to sequence here on Earth, so he’s making plans to send a DNA sequencer to Mars.


"There will be life forms there," Venter said, with his usual confidence, at a Wired Health conference this week in New York.


If he can build a machine to find it, the next steps would be to decode its DNA, beam it back to Earth, put those into a cell and then boot up a form in a biosecure lab.


It may sound far-fetched, but assuming that there is DNA to be found on the Red Planet - a big assumption, to be sure - the notion of equipping a future Mars rover to sequence the DNA isn’t so crazy.


Venter has already sent his yacht around the globe to scoop up seawater and sequence whatever DNA it found in . He has also been working on technology to create small genomes from scratch and insert them into living cells to bring these organisms to life. The difference now is that all of this technology would be applied to Mars.


It’s highly unlikely that any DNA-based life forms could survive on the , so Venter’s "biological teleporter" (as he dubbed it) would dig under the surface for samples to sequence. If they find anything, "it would take only 4.3 minutes to get the Martians back to Earth," he said. "Now we can rebuild the Martians in a P4 lab."


Venter isn’t the only one looking for Martian DNA. According to a report in the MIT Technology Review, so is Jonathan Rothberg, founder of the company Ion Torrent.


Rothberg is working with NASA-funded scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard to adapt his company’s Personal Machine for use on Mars, the report says. It’s part of a NASA astrobiology project known as the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes, or SETG.


MIT research scientist Christopher Carr is part of a group that’s "building a miniature RNA/ to search for life beyond Earth," according to his website. "Top places to look include Mars, Enceladus (a moon of Saturn), and Europa (a moon of Jupiter)."


Carr told Tech Review that one of the biggest challenges is shrinking Ion Torrent’s 30-kilogram machine down to a mere 3 kg - light enough to fit on a Mars rover.


That’s just one of the hurdles. NASA has no firm plans for a rover to succeed Curiosity, the lab-on-wheels that reached the Red Planet in August. Even if a new rover gets the green light, there’s no guarantee that a gene sequencer would get one of the coveted spots for research instruments.


Article from: phys.org





Related Articles
Mars Sample Return Mission? Naaah… Just Beam Back Martian DNA
Craig Venter On Mars DNA Plan: ’We Can Rebuild The Martians’ In Earth Lab
Darpa, Venter Launch Assembly Line for Genetic Engineering
J. Craig Venter Create Synthetic Life - Could it Wipe out Humanity?
Craig Venter creates first synthetic life form
’Darth Venter’ (J. Craig Venter) & The Archon Genomics X Prize
Ancient Foreign DNA Found in Modern Human DNA
“We could put the whole world’s knowledge in 4 grams of DNA”
Far From ‘Junk’, Bits of Mystery DNA Play Crucial Role


Latest News from our Front Page

An Occupied Country
2016-02-06 5:42
When people refer to occupation governments or occupied countries, the first thought is often of military occupation—the garrisoning of foreign troops in one’s cities and civil administration by their military executives. The other vision is the trope of a cabal of Haredim sitting in a darkly-lit boardroom with a map of the world on the wall, a dated reading of ...
Immortal Symbols 1941
2016-02-06 2:07
Youtube description: Dutch film "Eeuwig Leevende Tekens" by Hamer - "Volksche Werkgemeenschap" (Folkish Study Group) - ancestral heritage, solar wheel, sun cross, tree of life, etc. Subs by Otharus - http://fryskednis.blogspot.com Source: youtube.com
Ex-German media boss admits on live radio the national news agenda is govt controlled
2016-02-06 1:32
f you really want a lesson in how the Western popular press works, this is it. Without question, Germany is the leading power in Europe. ZDF is its state broadcaster and most popular channel. Together with sister network ARD; German's are obliged to pay €17.98 per month to fund it. This week, during a radio event in Berlin, the retired head of ZDF ...
British teenager is gang raped by 'Moroccan' men after being dragged into a car in Spain
2016-02-06 1:09
A British teenager claims to have been gang-raped in a Spanish resort after being dragged into a car by a group of Moroccan men, it was reported today. The 18-year-old claimed she was attacked while walking home from work late at night in Sabinillas, near Marbella. Police are said to be investigating a group of Moroccan men in the area. A British teenager ...
8 Ways Racially Diverse Schools Hurt White Kids
2016-02-06 1:02
Description from YouTube: I argue against Mother Jones Propaganda Link to the original Mother Jones Article: 3 Ways White Kids Benefit Most From Racially Diverse Schools Links to all the articles and other citations mentioned in my video can be found here: docdro.id/6CpKvgA Source: youtube.com
More News »