Salt link to Mars life

August 22, 1997

Salt mines on Earth could aid the search for life on Mars, say researchers from Leicester University's department of microbiology and immunology. On Earth, the evaporation of ancient salt lakes produced today's salt mines, millions of years later. Scientists can isolate and examine bacteria from this salt to determine the thriving bacterial populations of the ancient salt lakes.

"Mars had lakes that dried out 3.5 billion years ago, and there is evidence of salt deposits derived from these lakes. These sites would be an appropriate place to look for signs of life," said Bill Grant of Leicester University. Examples of the research are on view at the Science Museum in London.

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