I found the following article that describes a new theory of how life may have started on Earth.
Basically it claims that living systems originated in so-called "inorganic incubators" - small compartments in iron sulphide rocks. Instead of the building blocks of life forming first, and then forming a cell-like structure, the researchers say the cell came first and was later filled with living molecules.
The proponents of this theory claim that one of the implications of this idea is that life on other planets or some large moons in our own solar system, like ice-crusted Europa - a moon of Jupiter - might be much more likely than previously assumed.
Assuming that this is correct how would we go about finding such life without hopelessly contaminating it? And what would we do with it when we found it?
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Stuart on 2002-12-04 09:55 ]</font>