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Thread: NASA's Curiosity's secret discovery after sampling Martian soil.

  1. #1 NASA's Curiosity's secret discovery after sampling Martian soil. 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    NASA admits hiding 'really good' news from Martian soil ? The Register

    I personally think they have found protein molecules in the martian soil.

    Penny for your thoughts anyone?


    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    Hm, I'm going for amino acids soup in liquid surface water due to raised acidity and mineral levels?


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    Are there bets? I say just wait and see.
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    SEEKER Genesis's Avatar
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    Do you think it may be worth a trip to the bookies, might get good odds
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    I will post the reasons for my protein conclusion shortly, however before I do, I took this screen shot from Nasa's vid on their site. This is one of their recent scoops by Curiosity. Have a look at the bit I've circled in blue. Does a bone-dry powder really heave and look like this? It looks to me that to produce this clumpy gravity defying over-hang effect, some form of binding liquid must be present.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

    nasamarsclip.jpg
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Amino acids can be created in the lab, and yes are organic chemicals; but we've found amino acids already in comets. If they found water molecules, I could not see that as being "earth shattering" as they say. Why? Because water molecules have been discovered on the moon. Maybe mars has a permafrost underneath it's surface, but really, why would that be "earth shattering" We know, for instance, that Europa (one of Jupiters's moons) has a very thick water ice crust and that underneath the crust it has an ocean of liquid water.

    The channels and gulley's of mars could not have been carved out by a sea of carbon dioxide because there is a very fine temperature range in which CO2 can exist as a liquid (about 1/5 of the range in which water can exist as a liquid).

    Now let's move on to methane. Yes, biological life does create methane, but finding it on Mars would not really prove the existance that life once existed there. (it might be pointer, but again I don't think that this would be "earth shattering" because The moon titan has oceans and lakes of methane, it rains methane, it has skies filled with clouds of methane.

    Protein is a group of biological molecules which are created (as far as our current understanding) by life. All plant life contains protein, all animals contain protein. DNA and RNA are complex protein molecules, Viruses are made from protein as are bacteria. If you go anywhere on Earth and take a soil sample you will undoubtedly find protein. Because life exists pretty much everywhere on the planet.

    If indeed I am correct then of course they would have to take various samples all over the place to ensure it's not a protein which came with the rover through contamination here on Earth before it left us. The discovery of proteins in the soil would indeed be an Earth-shattering discovery.
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    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  8. #7  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins View Post
    I personally think they have found protein molecules in the martian soil.
    I am not sure (I will try and find a source) but I don't think the mass spec can handle molecules that big.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I am not sure (I will try and find a source) but I don't think the mass spec can handle molecules that big.
    Well it has Gas Chromatograph (GC), a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), and a Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) so maybe...
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    I don't think NASA hides anything. They would be more than happy to let us know.
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    Quagma SpeedFreek's Avatar
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    I think in this context "hiding" simply means delaying the announcement until they have checked their results.
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    Some of us are in the know, though can't reveal details yet. I'll confess it's a bit of a strain...

    But yes, a device used to test for life (SAM) is involved but bacterial life is not involved. As the artcile said, this is very exciting.

    December is going to be a hectic month for the media, I think.


    I'm a dirty liar. Seriously, I'm lying straight out of the back orifice. I haven't got a freaking clue what all the fuss is about. But I did manage to get a few of you to shake your head and go "What?!"
    Of course... now you're also kinda pissed off at me. Heh heh heh.
    Last edited by Neverfly; November 26th, 2012 at 10:43 PM.
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  13. #12  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Neverfly, I'm calling your bluff. Please explain, in detail, how SAM is able to test for life. Identifying organic molecules does not, as you have already pointed out, provide a test for life. There is nothing akin to any of the Viking experiments, which did test for life, on board. So were you being free and loose with your terminology, or....?

    To everyone else: I would love for this not to be a damp squib. I have long suspected the Viking landers did find evidence for life. However, my gut feeling is that this will be a discovery that will excite the specialists, but leave Joe Public indifferent. Again, I hope I'm wrong.
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    John Galt, You insult both my integrity and my honor, sir! How dare you suggest I'm supposed to divulge my secreets (Although highlighting the bottom of my post to see the Easter eggs I occasionally hide within them will usually do that for ya. )
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    John Galt, You insult both my integrity and my honor, sir! How dare you suggest I'm supposed to divulge my secreets (Although highlighting the bottom of my post to see the Easter eggs I occasionally hide within them will usually do that for ya. )
    It's a technique I used quite a lot in the past, but not of late. Still, I'm pleased to see I can still spot bullshit even when I'm half asleep.
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    SAM has got to have detected an amino acid associated with life on Earth, and I should think they are verifying the results before going public. After all, we all got a bit excited about ALH 84001 back in the day, so some confirmation that there was/is life would be interesting, nay, spectacular.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    I think in this context "hiding" simply means delaying the announcement until they have checked their results.
    Nasa's track record of late in this regard has not been great - any one remember the arsenic life kerfuffle?
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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    just finding amino acids is still far awar from confirming the existence of micro-celled life forms, need more updates from NASA, i hope someone can hack into them and leak whatever info they are possibly hiding from us
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  19. #18  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Apparently it was all a cover up misunderstanding: The Big Curiosity Rover Discovery Is a Big Misunderstanding
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  20. #19  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    And while many on one side of the divide casitgate scientists and on the other side, attack religious fundamentalists, few take the time to assail journalists.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Apparently it was all a cover up misunderstanding: The Big Curiosity Rover Discovery Is a Big Misunderstanding
    That's a shame, but yeah, like John said, it's the fault of journalists. I used to work with a bunch of Astronomers, the local press came to interview them about a discovery they'd made, and one one junior journo asked 'It's Astronomy, not Astrology, yes?' as if she was clever for knowing the difference. I replied 'Well done, there's only a nine foot long sign over the main entrance, saying 'Physics and Astronomy Department'.
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