Mars 'has life's building blocks'

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The researchers suggest Mars has 'been undertaking organic chemistry for most of its history.' New evidence from meteorites suggests that the basic building blocks of life are present on Mars. The study found that carbon present in 10 meteorites, spanning more than four billion years of Martian history, came from the planet and was not the result of contamination on Earth. Details of the work have been published in the journal Science. But the research also shows the Martian carbon did not come from life forms. A team of scientists based at the Carnegie Institution for Science, based in Washington DC, found 'reduced carbon' in the meteorites and says it was created by volcanic activity on Mars. Reduced carbon is carbon that is chemically bonded to hydrogen or itself. They argue this is evidence 'that Mars has been undertaking organic chemistry for most of its history.'

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