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Paul Anderson

Re the first mainstream media reference to the methane discovery, I forgot to mention in my previous comment yesterday ('Yet More on Methane') that the Daily Planet program (Discovery Channel) here in Canada did also mention it briefly last Thursday. Not posted on their web site yet though.

Still haven't seen others picking up on it yet, except for Slashdot I see today:


Dennis Berube

I hope in everyones haste to find life on Mars, that we do not announce such a find until we are absolutely sure that is what we have discovered! It would be a shame if later the supposed discovery of life on Mars would turn out to be something else! In all the reading on the subject I have seen very little mentioned about the high amounts of radiation that saturates the surface of Mars on a continual basis! This one fact alone speaks very much against life, certainly on or near the surface!


Um, I like Mars. It's um...all red. And cool.

So like, was that rabbit on Mars cool or what?

Who knew they'd find life so easily!

That thing hopped right up to the camera for us.

Wow, I wonder what Martian bunny tastes like?

paulo - portugal

life in mars? ofcourse, but under the surface. example: 2004.03.13 MOC image what's cause that polution on the surface? see the caves? it's a kind of earthnose. and what is breathing? i don't know!

Jonathan Eisen

Not that this is directly connected to the Martian methane story, but I thought people might be interested that my group just completed the first genome of a methane-eating bacterium called Methylococcus capsulatus. The press release can be found at


The article is freely available because we published it in an Open Access journal called PLOS Biology and you can get it at

Oliver Morton

That's great Jonathan. Are you going to do one of the anaerobic ones too?

Jonathan Eisen

Sorry for the delay ... no anaerobic ones on the agenda.
However we are working on a bug that can grow on carbon monoxide rather than methane. It seems to convert the carbon monoxide to something similar to one of the intermediates in the methane fixation pathway. It then may use the same proteins that the methane growing bugs use to finish the process.

Brian Ritchie

Te latest from Mumma and his team on methane:


"Mumma said his team could look for seven different types of molecules at Mars, allowing them to chip away at the question of biological versus geochemical production of methane."

Anyone any idea what the seven molecules are?

Rick Sterling

http://www.wired.com/news/space/0,2697,67315,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_5 According to this Wired News article, There is no known geological source of Martian formaldehyde.

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Congratulations it is heartening to hear NASA hasn't cmelpetoly closed down. But don't forget to come back home and study those critters in our own backyard. am sure GNS woudl love to host you on a trip to the Kermadecs!M

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