Life on mars

New Analysis Says "Possibly" ...

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Life on mars

#1  Postby Mononoke » Apr 14, 2012 4:21 pm


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The only extraterrestrial life detection experiments ever conducted were the three which were components of the 1976 Viking Mission to Mars. Of these, only the Labeled Release experiment obtained a clearly positive response. In this experiment 14C radiolabeled nutrient was added to the Mars soil samples. Active soils exhibited rapid, substantial gas release. The gas was probably CO2 and, possibly, other radiocarbon-containing gases. We have applied complexity analysis to the Viking LR data. Measures of mathematical complexity permit deep analysis of data structure along continua including signal vs. noise, entropy vs.negentropy, periodicity vs. aperiodicity, order vs. disorder etc. We have employed seven complexity variables, all derived from LR data, to show that Viking LR active responses can be distinguished from controls via cluster analysis and other multivariate techniques. Furthermore, Martian LR active response data cluster with known biological time series while the control data cluster with purely physical measures. We conclude that the complexity pattern seen in active experiments strongly suggests biology while the different pattern in the control responses is more likely to be non-biological. Control responses that exhibit relatively low initial order rapidly devolve into near-random noise, while the active experiments exhibit higher initial order which decays only slowly. This suggests a robust biological response. These analyses support the interpretation that the Viking LR experiment did detect extant microbial life on Mars.


http://ijass.org/PublishedPaper/year_ab ... sp?idx=132
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Re: Life on mars

#2  Postby Clive Durdle » Apr 14, 2012 4:32 pm

I like the concept that this is a black hole producing universe, and a bi product of that type of universe is ubiquitous life.
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Re: Life on mars

#3  Postby james1v » Apr 14, 2012 4:38 pm

:popcorn:
"When humans yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon". Thomas Paine.
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Re: Life on mars

#4  Postby Made of Stars » Apr 14, 2012 9:40 pm

Colour me skeptical. Is this just patternicity - the human propensity to see patterns where there aren't any - in action?
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Did the Viking Missions Find Life On Mars?

#5  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 15, 2012 2:34 am

A new look at the Viking mission data is being reconsidered as possible evidence for Martian life.

From that article:

Clustering Viking's Mars Data

For the study, Miller and mathematician Giorgio Bianciardi, of Italy's University of Siena, used a technique called cluster analysis, which groups together similar-looking data sets.

"We just plugged all the [Viking experimental and control] data in and said, Let the cluster analysis sort it," Miller said. "What happened was, we found two clusters: One cluster constituted the two active experiments on Viking and the other cluster was the five control experiments."

To bolster their case, the team also compared the Viking data to measurements collected from confirmed biological sources on Earth—for example, temperature readings from a rat—and from purely physical, nonbiological sources.

"It turned out that all the biological experiments from Earth sorted with the active experiments from Viking, and all the nonbiological data series sorted with the control experiments," Miller said. "It was an extremely clear-cut phenomenon."

(Related: "Life on Mars? 'Missing Mineral' Find Boosts Chances.")

The team concedes, however, that this finding by itself isn't enough to prove that there's life on Mars.

"It just says there's a big difference between the active experiments and the controls, and that Viking's active experiments sorted with terrestrial biology and the controls sorted with nonbiological phenomena," Miller said.


What is somewhat less well known, incidentally, is that the experiments also pointed tantalisingly toward the existence of a circadian rhythm in the experimental samples - coinciding very neatly with the day length on Mars, which is 24.7 hours.

Of course, we'll need something a little more than this before we can pop any champagne corks and welcome our Martian companions. However, this might just spur NASA or the ESA to put together a mission that answers the question once and for all. :)
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Re: Re: Did the Viking Missions Find Life On Mars?

#6  Postby GrahamH » Apr 15, 2012 6:09 am

Calilasseia wrote:A new look at the Viking mission data is being reconsidered as possible evidence for Martian life.

From that article:

Clustering Viking's Mars Data

For the study, Miller and mathematician Giorgio Bianciardi, of Italy's University of Siena, used a technique called cluster analysis, which groups together similar-looking data sets.

"We just plugged all the [Viking experimental and control] data in and said, Let the cluster analysis sort it," Miller said. "What happened was, we found two clusters: One cluster constituted the two active experiments on Viking and the other cluster was the five control experiments."

To bolster their case, the team also compared the Viking data to measurements collected from confirmed biological sources on Earth—for example, temperature readings from a rat—and from purely physical, nonbiological sources.

"It turned out that all the biological experiments from Earth sorted with the active experiments from Viking, and all the nonbiological data series sorted with the control experiments," Miller said. "It was an extremely clear-cut phenomenon."

(Related: "Life on Mars? 'Missing Mineral' Find Boosts Chances.")

The team concedes, however, that this finding by itself isn't enough to prove that there's life on Mars.

"It just says there's a big difference between the active experiments and the controls, and that Viking's active experiments sorted with terrestrial biology and the controls sorted with nonbiological phenomena," Miller said.


What is somewhat less well known, incidentally, is that the experiments also pointed tantalisingly toward the existence of a circadian rhythm in the experimental samples - coinciding very neatly with the day length on Mars, which is 24.7 hours.

Of course, we'll need something a little more than this before we can pop any champagne corks and welcome our Martian companions. However, this might just spur NASA or the ESA to put together a mission that answers the question once and for all. :)

Circadian rhythm? Isn't that likely to be some sensitivity of the apparatus to temperature or sunlight cycle?
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Re: Life on mars

#7  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 18, 2012 10:52 pm

I think that the Viking mission designers might have factored this into their plans, and made efforts to construct apparatus that didn't introduce a systematic bias of this sort into the measurements erroneously. Any future missions certainly will factor this in.
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Re: Life on mars

#8  Postby CarlPierce » Apr 19, 2012 2:01 pm

I'm sure a few vacuum resistant bacteria managed to hitch a lift to their new home......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinococcus_radiodurans

This little fuker is a wonder.....
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Re: Life on mars

#9  Postby GrahamH » Apr 19, 2012 2:13 pm

Calilasseia wrote:I think that the Viking mission designers might have factored this into their plans, and made efforts to construct apparatus that didn't introduce a systematic bias of this sort into the measurements erroneously. Any future missions certainly will factor this in.


Of course, But note that the effect was not evident in individual experiments. It only showed up in the cluster analysis. It might be very subtle.

Still, on second thought, the controls should be subject to the same environmental effects, if done with that in mind.
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Re: Life on mars

#10  Postby Rumraket » May 26, 2012 12:43 pm

Mars Science Laboratory will be landing, at the time of writing this, around 71 days, 16 hours and 35 minutes from now on mars. Then we'll start getting some answers hopefully :)
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