We may all have come from Mars.
Professor Steven Benner, from The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in the USA, said that an oxidized mineral form of the element molybdenum, which may have been crucial to the origin of life, could only have been available on the surface of Mars and not on Earth.
He said that in addition, recent studies show that these conditions, suitable for the origin of life, may still exist on Mars.
Benner asserted that it's only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed.
He said that this form of molybdenum couldn't have been available on Earth at the time life first began, as 3 billion years ago the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did.
Benner explained that it's yet another piece of evidence that makes it likelier that life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite rather than starting on this planet.
The research Professor Benner will present tackles two of the paradoxes which make it difficult for scientists to understand how life could have started on Earth.
The first is dubbed by Professor Benner as the 'tar paradox,' which states that all living things are made of organic matter, but if energy like heat or light to organic molecules is added and left them to themselves, they don't create life and instead turn into something more like tar, oil or asphalt.
Benner said that certain elements seem able to control the propensity of organic materials to turn into tar, particularly boron and molybdenum, so they believe that minerals containing both were fundamental to life first starting.
He said that analysis of a Martian meteorite recently showed that there was boron on Mars; they now believe that the oxidized form of molybdenum was there too.
The second paradox is that life would have struggled to start on the early Earth because it was likely to have been totally covered by water.
Not only would this have prevented sufficient concentrations of boron forming - it's currently only found in very dry places like Death Valley - but water is corrosive to RNA, which scientists believe was the first genetic molecule to appear. Although there was water on Mars, it covered much smaller areas than on early Earth.
Benner said that the evidence seems to be building that they are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock.
He asserted that it's lucky that they ended up here nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining . ( ANI )
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