General Mars
  Implications of Life

  Definition of Life
  Martian Meteorite

Data Analysis
  Thin Section Analysis
  Isotope Analysis
  Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer
  Infrared Spectroscopy
  Alpha-Proton X-Ray Spectrometer
  Detection of Carbon Complexes
  Labeled Release
  Gas Exchange
  Pyrolytic Release
  Stimulus Response Experiments

Scientific Research and Design
Data Analysis -- Isotope Analysis

Isotope ratios produced by metabolic products are left in rocks long after even fossils have been destroyed. We will seek to detect them through the use of mass spectroscopy. 

Positive: Kerogen depleted in 13C; Carbonates enriched in 13C; higher proportion in one of the two phases of sulfur (life may be sulfur-oxidizing or -reducing). Life as will as its metabolic processes indicated. 

Negative: Ratios more evenly distributed. Compare to moon rocks. No life found. 

False-Positive: Any inorganic process that can be shown to create the above ratios.

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Comments and questions to Last updated: 10 December, 2000