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'Tunnels' and 'spheres' in meteorite revive debate over life on Mars

The discovery of tiny carbon-rich balls and tunnels inside a Martian meteorite has once again raised the possibility that the Red Planet was teeming with primitive life millions of years ago.The meteorite, which fell to Earth during the Stone Age, contains microscopic burrows and spheres that resemble the marks microorganisms leave when they eat through rocks on Earth, scientists report in the journal Astrobiology this month. What's more, these features seem to have been pressed into the Mars rock before it was hurled off the Red Planet by an impact event, the researchers add. The authors of the new research are not claiming they've found evidence of ancient life on Mars. In fact, nowhere in their paper do they use the word "life." (Their preferred term is "biotic activity.") But their findings revive the debate about the possibility of microbes in Mars' past and highlight how much information scientists can actually glean from Martian meteorites that end up on Earth. [ The Search for ...

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