Whether they like to admit it or not, scientists cannot provide irrefutable answers for how life emerged. They also cannot fully understand how life works, and nobody can create even the most primitive forms of life in a lab. But luckily enough, researchers can still come with more or less credible claims based on scientific facts.
Panspermia is not a new idea at all. Plenty of scientists had been relying on it as they thought it explains pretty well how life on Earth could have appeared. The theory says that the first amino acids that characterize all living beings were carried to our planet by comets and asteroids. However, a team of Japanese scientists want to take that idea a major step forward.
Are we all Martians?
Many astronomers and regular people had been hoping for years to encounter alien life forms living on Mars, but they might actually be among us. In fact, there’s a chance that we see Martians every morning as we look in the mirror. In a study that was published in the journal Frontiers of Microbiology , scientists explain how some bacteria can survive against ultraviolet radiation for a maximum of 10 years.
Akihiko Yamagishi, who is a professor at Tokyo University in the department of pharmacy and life sciences, participated as a principal investigator of a mission designed to test the survival of microorganisms on the International Space Station. Yamagishi says that during that mission, it was discovered that microbes could indeed survive a trip from Mars to Earth.
Some think that life is very rare and happened only once in the universe, while others think that life can happen on every suitable planet. If panspermia is possible, life must exist much more often than we previously thought.
Beware of the RNA World theory
Yamagishi also says that Mars and Earth can come close enough to each other once every two years, and that would allow the transfer of bacteria. But there’s also the RNA World theory, which states that our planet was once composed of RNA’s before DNA and other proteins gained control. Yamagishi also believes that RNA could have existed on Mars before the right conditions for life arose on Earth and potentially traveled towards our planet by bringing along RNA.
It’s obvious that further studies are required in order to be sure if life came from another planet or not. But figuring out how a conscious being came into existence and began asking itself how did life appear on Earth is one of the major challenges in science.