SUMMARY: Techniques that helped sequence the human genome over the last decade could help researchers prove, once and for all, if life ever existed on Mars. Researchers from UC Berkeley have sampled the dry, irradiated soil in Chile's Atacama Desert, which could be a similar situation on Mars, and used techniques that study DNA to search for evidence of amino acids. An instrument that uses this technique, called the Mars Organic Analyzer, could be built into future rovers. It was able to detect the presence of life in the Atacama soil - we'll see if it'll work on Mars.
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