Sterile Soil from Antarctica: Organic Analysis

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Science  30 May 1969:
Vol. 164, Issue 3883, pp. 1054-1056
DOI: 10.1126/science.164.3883.1054


Soils from the dry-valley region of Antarctica can be sterile by the usual microbiological criteria and yet contain significant amounts of organic carbon. Examination of one such soil shows that the organic material is finely divided anthracite coal. These findings have significant implications for the biological exploration of Mars.

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