Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Life-Seeking Chip Will Join Space Probes

illustration only
Pasadena (UPI) Mar 23, 2004
U.S. scientists said Tuesday they have developed a miniature laboratory that can spot a tell-tale chemical signature of life.

The laboratory-on-a-chip is ready to be part of a 2009 Mars mission, said the scientists.

The chip will look for amino acids, the molecular building blocks of proteins.

"Amino acids are the best molecules to look for if you want to find evidence of life that existed a long time ago," said Alison Skelley, a chemist at University of California, Berkeley, who helped build the life chip, as it is called.

Unlike DNA, amino acids could last for tens of thousands of years on Mars without changing, Skelley added.

The scientists said the chip can detect amino acids in soil down to levels of a few parts per trillion.

It works by shoving several pieces of lab equipment onto a slab just a few inches across. "The same device normally covers a large table," Skelley said.

The scientists hope a copy of the chip will make it onboard a NASA and a European Space Agency mission in the coming years.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2004 by United Press International. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by United Press International. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of by United Press International.

Related Links
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Artificial Prions Created
San Francisco - Mar 23, 2004
The culprit behind mad cow disease, a.k.a. bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is the most infamous mammalian form of prions. Prions are misfolded proteins that are capable of growing, replicating, and being passed on to daughter cells - that is, they are by themselves heritable.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.