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Scientists believe NASA data confirms life on Mars

Model of the Viking 2 Mars Lander. (Credit: NASA)
The Mars Science Laboratory, known as Curiosity, is on its way to the red planet, and is scheduled to arrive in August of this year. Curiosity is the world’s biggest extraterrestrial explorer, and it will search for signs of life when it reaches Mars. But Curiosity might be a few decades late to the game. Some scientists believe that NASA discovered life on Mars 36 years ago.

A team of scientists published a paper last week in which they revealed findings from a new study where the team concluded that NASA found life on Mars. They analyzed data collected by NASA’s Mars Viking robots in 1976, concluding that samples were originally incorrectly identified by scientists as geologic samples, rather than biologic samples.

The team used math to reach their conclusion. Discover News explains the new approach taken with the Viking data by the team of scientists and mathematicians:

Researchers distilled the Viking Labeled Release data, provided as hard copies by the original researchers, into sets of numbers and analyzed the results for complexity. Since living systems are more complicated than non-biological processes, the idea was to look at the experiment results from a purely numerical perspective.

This new interpretation of 36-year-old data is not without its critics. Some scientists contend that the method used by this research team to differentiate between biological and non-biological samples has yet to be proven.

Regardless, neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, a member of the research team, told Discovery News, “On the basis of what we’ve done so far, I’d say I’m 99 percent sure there’s life there.”

And when Curiosity reaches the surface of Mars later this year, that percentage has a good chance of increasing to 100.

Jason McClellan

Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2's Hangar 1: The UFO Files. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook.

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