Wisconsin Scientists Seek Aliens by Way of Dan Brown

By Rich Steeves February 13, 2013

It’s not as well known as his Robert Langdon books (like The Da Vinci Code), but Dan Brown once wrote a novel about scientists that may or may not have found evidence of alien life in a meteorite found buried in the Arctic Circle. And now, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are taking a page from Deception Point and looking earthward for evidence of alien life, rather than looking to the stars.

 A group of 25 scientists from Wisconsin are part of a consortium that is funded by NASA. The group is tasked with studying rocks that are billions of years old, looking for information that might help guide the search for life on Mars and elsewhere. The evidence they seek is called “biosignatures,” footprints of biological activity like certain elements or isotopes that would indicate the presence of ancient life. Scientists also hope to find single-celled organisms in the samples.

Even if the project does not uncover evidence of extraterrestrial life, it is helping scientists learn more about our own planet. The team has uncovered Earth microbes that existed billions of years ago, before oxygen was present in the atmosphere. These tiny life forms relied more on iron than on sunlight!

The research will be fed to the Curiosity rover, now studying the surface of Mars, and will be used to prepare future Mars missions as well.

Even if there aren’t little green men up there, this hunt for alien life will help us better understand how life evolves and when we are ready to explore beyond the solar system, it will give us valuable information as to how to look for traces of life on worlds far distant from our own. We will, to echo the words of a famous TV show, seek out new life… and perhaps even new civilizations…




Edited by Carlos Olivera

TechZone360 Web Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Top 3 Takeaways from Microsoft Ignite

By: Special Guest    10/2/2017

Microsoft Ignite wrapped up last week in Orlando. At the company's big conference dedicated to IT professionals and developers, 25,000 business custom…

Read More

Millennials Want Smart Home Tech More Than Anyone

By: Larry Alton    10/2/2017

Millennials are known for having very specific interests. They also hold a significant level of buying power in certain markets, particularly technolo…

Read More

SpaceX Names Satellite Broadband Service, Works FCC Connect America

By: Doug Mohney    9/29/2017

"Starlink" is the potential title for SpaceX's massive satellite network to deliver high-speed Internet access, reports Florida Today. The company has…

Read More

New Apple iPhone X as Much Hype as Innovation

By: Doug Mohney    9/28/2017

Apple is counting on it with the iPhone X -- the "X" symbolizing the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Fans of the company are falling all over themselv…

Read More

Alexa and the PBX, Coming Soon

By: Doug Mohney    9/28/2017

This week, Amazon unloaded a ton of Alexa-enabled Echo gizmos, including the Echo Connect. Shipping on December 13, 2017 (just before the holiday seas…

Read More