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    Organic carbon from Mars, but not biological

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    carnegiescience

    by carnegiescience

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    Molecules containing large chains of carbon and hydrogen--the building blocks of all life on Earth--have been the targets of missions to Mars from Viking to the present day. While these molecules have previously been found in meteorites from Mars, scientists have disagreed about how this organic carbon was formed and whether or not it came from Mars. A new paper provides strong evidence that this carbon did originate on Mars, although it is not biological. These findings give researchers insight into the chemical processes taking place on Mars and will help aid future quests for evidence of ancient or modern Martian life.