by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com
Since NASA’s Curiosity rover’s descent on Mars in 2012, it has rolled the planet’s dusty surface searching for signs of ancient small life forms like microbes. The rover uses its seven-foot-long arm to drill into rocks and analyze the dust’s makeup for chemical fingerprints of the Red Planet’s history. A new analysis of sediment samples collected by Curiosity revealed an unusual amount of carbon isotopes, reports Science’s Paul Voosen.
Chemical signatures like these are considered strong—but heavily debated—evidence for prehistoric, microbial life here on Earth, but the two planets are ultimately too different to make any definitive claims based on direct comparisons alone. Alternatively, scientists suggest the strange isotopes could have been caused by space dust or the degradation of carbon dioxide from ultraviolet light, reports Andrew Griffin for the Independent. Researchers published details of the carbon signature this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Carbon is considered a building block of all life on planet Earth. In the carbon cycle, carbon atoms move from the atmosphere to the ground and then back to the atmosphere through processes like photosynthesis, decomposition, and human and animal emissions on land and sea. Read More:
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.