Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) and NASA are building a DNA detector to search for evidence of life on Mars.
MIT and NASA think rocks flying between Earth and the Red Planet may have contained micro-organisms capable of surviving the environments of both worlds. Researchers think finding DNA on Mars would likely indicate a shared ancestry between Earth and the Red Planet.
“At the time, there was something going on called the Late Heavy Bombardment, and meant the inner solar system was being hit with lots and lots of meteorites,” Dr. Alexandra Pontefract, a geologist at MIT working on the project, said in a press statement.
“There was a big exchange of rocks between Mars and Earth. There have been studies that have shown biology can survive being ejected from a planet and survive in space. We know it’s possible; it’s really amazing.”