Scientists have detected signs of water in a piece of a 1.3 billion-year-old Martian meteorite, throwing up possibilities of existence of life in the planet's past, or even the present. Professor Ian Lyon from the University of Manchester, who along with Elias Chatzitheodoridis of the National Technical University of Athens conducted the study said, "We have been able to show the setting is there to provide life. It's not too cold, it's not too harsh. Life as we know it, in the form of bacteria, for example, could be there, although we haven't found it yet. It's about piecing together the case for life on Mars – it may have existed and in some form could exist still." Their findings are published in the latest edition of the journal Astrobiology. The team used high resolution imaging to reveal the atomic layers of materials inside the meteorite. Known as Nakhla, the meteorite fell to earth in 1911 and around 40 pieces were recovered from the site in Egypt. While investigating the rock piece, Greek scientists found an unusual feature embedded deep within the rock, resembling a fossilised biological cell from Earth. Their research found that while it was probably not a cell, it did once hold water. The water had been heated and boiled away, probably as a result of an asteroid impact. via Yahoo News UK.
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