“New evidence has made it more likely that remnants of Martian microbes were transported to Earth in a meteorite, it was revealed today. A study by scientists from the American space agency Nasa has found chemical signatures in the rock strongly associated with life. The discovery strengthens the case for believing that worm-like structures in the meteorite are ‘microfossils’ of ancient Martian bugs. Sceptics have pointed out that similar-shaped structures could be formed from non-biological processes. Another unanswered question is whether the microfossils were the result of contamination by Earthly bacteria. This was originally ruled out by Nasa but has raised doubts in the minds of other experts. The meteorite, catalogued as Allen Hills (ALH) 84001, crashed onto the frozen wastes of Antarctica 13,000 years ago and was recovered in 1984. Scientists believe the rock was blasted off the surface of Mars by an asteroid or comet, reaching Earth after floating through space for around 16 million years.”
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