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Growing Prospects For Life on Mars Divide Astrobiologists

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Science  01 Oct 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6000, pp. 26-27
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6000.26

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Many researchers are content to follow NASA's lead as it cautiously moves from "following the water" in search of likely habitable or once-habitable environments on Mars to "following the carbon"—that is, looking for chemical traces of ancient life. Others are not so patient. The direct detection of life—living, dormant, or recently deceased—should be a high priority, some say. The planetary science decadal survey now being drafted and to be released next March will determine whether they're right.