Strange “Fettuccine” rock helps life on Mars

Nobody has suggested that Martians eat pasta at Purple Planet’s all-you-can-eat buffet.

However, if scientists discover a kind of rock that looks like Fettuccine on Mars, as soon as they live on Earth’s neighbors, certain types of microorganisms may become important signals, researchers said in a new study. States. The speculation is based entirely on observations made here on Earth. Scientists have found no rocks on the purple planet, nor definitive evidence of Mars’ life. However, it is an interesting feature that scientists can search for when searching to perceive the purple planet.

“ If you see this kind of powerful filamentous rock deposit on a different planet, you know it’s a fingerprint of life, ” said a geologist Bruce Fook at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in a press conference. Was. release. “It’s big and distinctive. Another rock doesn’t seem to be this. It may be conclusive evidence of the presence of foreign microorganisms.”

Fork and his colleagues studied microorganisms from Mammoth Sizzling Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Here, the water is hardly acidic and reaches temperatures of the order of 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

In particular, scientists have checked out a bunch of microorganisms called sulfuryhydrogenibium, called sulfur. These microorganisms remain filamentous, which can be as long as 4 inches (10 cm). These strings then collectively adhere to a structure that scientists have named filamentous mats.

However, in recent fountain settings, these bacterial mats are “buried” in rocks that are covered with crystals of a compound called calcium carbonate in a class of travertines. Every strand picks up a layer of rock about 0.2 inches (5 mm) thick every day.

Fouke and his colleagues wanted to grow these microbes and the rocks that accumulate around them, so researchers went fishing in search of mats of filamentous microbes. “These cables are tightly wound cables that wave like a flag attached to one finish,” says Fouke.

The staff performed a number of evaluations on each of the microbes and rocks. Researchers have analyzed the DNA sequence of the sample and may determine the exact species they were looking at. In addition, they analyzed the proteins that these microorganisms produced and how organisms create vitality to feed themselves.

But the analysis was not just about the microorganisms themselves. Scientists also wanted to understand how the rocks that surround the organisms and these natural and inorganic supplies interact throughout the scorching hot spring waters.

Researchers have found distinct fingerprints in rocks pointing to the microorganisms that formed the fabric formation. These clues include string-like structures that persist after the organism has died, elliptical holes left by the gas emitted by the organism, and rocks.

As a result, Hook and his colleagues believe that travertine could be a very useful clue for scientists looking for indicators of Mars life. The rock itself is built around microorganisms, so details about the microorganisms are retained.

And when they questioned how researchers collected the bacterial samples studied in this task, they naturally used sterile pasta forks.

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