Study: Key Ingredient for Life Abundant on Early Mars

UNLV researchers Christopher Adcock and Elisabeth Hausrath.
Oct. 16, 2013

Life on Mars? Though the debate rages on, a team of UNLV researchers has discovered that phosphate – an essential chemical ingredient for life – may have been more abundant on early Mars than during the emergence of life on Earth.

In a study published recently in Nature Geoscience, doctoral student Christopher Adcock and colleagues created and then dissolved synthetic phosphate-containing minerals similar to those found on Mars. Determining how well the minerals dissolve is key to understanding how readily available the phosphate may have been for life-creating chemical reactions.  

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