Alien footprints

2019-03-07 02:16:01

By Michael Le Page in Orlando, Florida THE “nanobacteria” found in the Martian meteorite might be too small to be real bacteria – but that doesn’t mean that extraterrestrial organisms aren’t responsible for creating the diminutive fossils. Jeff McLean at Pacific Northwest Labs in Richland, Washington, has found that iron-eating bacteria on Earth leave behind small sacs of enzymes when they detach themselves from a surface. These chemicals react with metals in rock, forming spherical mineral deposits around 100 nanometres across – 10 times smaller than normal bacteria. “Their size,