Next Article in Journal
Cellular Senescence in Health, Disease and Aging: Blessing or Curse?
Next Article in Special Issue
Astrochemical Pathways to Complex Organic and Prebiotic Molecules: Experimental Perspectives for In Situ Solid-State Studies
Previous Article in Journal
Altered Blood Levels of Anti-Gal Antibodies in Alzheimer’s Disease: A New Clue to Pathogenesis?
Previous Article in Special Issue
Prebiotic Peptides Based on the Glycocodon Theory Analyzed with FRET
Article

Origin of Life on Mars: Suitability and Opportunities

1
Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
2
Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin—Parkside, Kenosha, WI 53141, USA
3
Earth and Planetary Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC 20015, USA
4
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16807, USA
5
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
6
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
7
Institute of Meteoritics, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 88033, USA
8
Institute of Geosciences (CSIC-UCM), 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michele Fiore and Emiliano Altamura
Life 2021, 11(6), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060539
Received: 22 April 2021 / Revised: 28 May 2021 / Accepted: 1 June 2021 / Published: 9 June 2021
Although the habitability of early Mars is now well established, its suitability for conditions favorable to an independent origin of life (OoL) has been less certain. With continued exploration, evidence has mounted for a widespread diversity of physical and chemical conditions on Mars that mimic those variously hypothesized as settings in which life first arose on Earth. Mars has also provided water, energy sources, CHNOPS elements, critical catalytic transition metal elements, as well as B, Mg, Ca, Na and K, all of which are elements associated with life as we know it. With its highly favorable sulfur abundance and land/ocean ratio, early wet Mars remains a prime candidate for its own OoL, in many respects superior to Earth. The relatively well-preserved ancient surface of planet Mars helps inform the range of possible analogous conditions during the now-obliterated history of early Earth. Continued exploration of Mars also contributes to the understanding of the opportunities for settings enabling an OoL on exoplanets. Favoring geochemical sediment samples for eventual return to Earth will enhance assessments of the likelihood of a Martian OoL. View Full-Text
Keywords: origin of life; Mars; prebiotic chemical evolution; early Earth; astrobiology; CHNOPS; transition elements; sample return; exoplanets origin of life; Mars; prebiotic chemical evolution; early Earth; astrobiology; CHNOPS; transition elements; sample return; exoplanets
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Clark, B.C.; Kolb, V.M.; Steele, A.; House, C.H.; Lanza, N.L.; Gasda, P.J.; VanBommel, S.J.; Newsom, H.E.; Martínez-Frías, J. Origin of Life on Mars: Suitability and Opportunities. Life 2021, 11, 539. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060539

AMA Style

Clark BC, Kolb VM, Steele A, House CH, Lanza NL, Gasda PJ, VanBommel SJ, Newsom HE, Martínez-Frías J. Origin of Life on Mars: Suitability and Opportunities. Life. 2021; 11(6):539. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060539

Chicago/Turabian Style

Clark, Benton C., Vera M. Kolb, Andrew Steele, Christopher H. House, Nina L. Lanza, Patrick J. Gasda, Scott J. VanBommel, Horton E. Newsom, and Jesús Martínez-Frías. 2021. "Origin of Life on Mars: Suitability and Opportunities" Life 11, no. 6: 539. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060539

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop