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Archive - Nov 2, 2013

“Zone in with Zon”—DNA Sequencing on Mars?

Dr. Gerald Zon’s latest “Zone in with Zon” blog post, dated October 21, 2013, and published by TriLink BioTechnologies of San Diego, addresses the stimulating possibility of sequencing DNA on Mars. Although initially skeptical about this “far-out” idea, Dr. Zon did a little research and concluded that it might not be so far-fetched after all. He began by mentioning the long history of theories and research on how life, as we know it, began and evolved, noting that the subject has received considerable attention since 1924 when Soviet biologist Alexander Oparin proposed a theory of the origin of life on earth through the gradual chemical evolution of molecules that contain carbon in the “primordial soup.” Research continued, Dr. Zon said, with Stanley Miller’s now classic article “A Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions” in Science in 1953. Dr. Zon noted that recent identification of nucleobase analogs 2,6-diaminopurine and 6,8-diaminopurine has been reported by Dworkin and coworkers and suggested to strongly support extraterrestrial origin. In discussing what might be the origin of Martian genomes, Dr. Zon mentions the “common ancestry hypothesis” that proposes the natural transfer of viable microbes in space, such as from Mars to Earth and Earth to Mars. Scientists who have investigated this theory have concluded that “if microbes existed or exist on Mars, viable transfer to Earth is not only possible, but also highly probable, due to microbes’ impressive resistance to the dangers of space transfer and to the dense traffic of billions of Martian meteorites that have fallen on Earth since the dawn of our planetary system. Earth-to-Mars transfer is also possible but at a much lower frequency.” Dr.