Minerals Essential for Life on Earth Came from Mars —New Evidence | The Daily Galaxy

“The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock,” says Steven Benner of the Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology. “It’s lucky that we ended up here nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining life. If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell. In addition, recent studies show that these conditions, suitable for the origin of life, may still exist on Mars.”

Speaking at the at the annual Goldschmidt conference, Benner told geochemists that an oxidized mineral form of the element molybdenum, which may have been crucial to the origin of life, could only have been available on the surface of Mars and not on Earth.

“It’s only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed,” said Benner. “This form of molybdenum couldn’t have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because three billion years ago, the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did. It’s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet.”

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