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New research: Life on Earth originated on Mars, making us all Martians

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Presenting his research on Aug. 29 at the 2013 Goldschmidt conference in Florence, Italy, geochemist Steven Benner said today 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,” meaning that the beginnings of life on Earth actually originated on the Red Planet.

Benner, a professor with The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Gainseville, Fla., said that "the evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock,” according to Phys.org.

"It's only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed," Benner explained.

"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."

Benner said that we should consider ourselves very lucky that the Martian seeds of life ended up on Earth, as Earth has proved to be much better than Mars at sustaining life.

“If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell."

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