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A New Antibody for Category 1 Biomarker DetectionAt least two questions arise in developing a life-detection strategy: What do we look for and what will positive detection tell us? Unfortunately, many 'biomarkers' are not conclusive markers of biology. For example, sugars, amino acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and certain bacteria-like morphologies can all be produced non-biologically. Inferences of life following the detection of several inconclusive biomarkers in one sample will always be questioned. Although DNA, RNA and proteins are excellent markers of biology, and preserved on Earth for several millions of years, their survival over longer periods of time is low. Ideally, we should target biomarkers which are both stable over time and formed exclusively from biological processes, i.e. a 'category 1' biomarker under the new classification system of Mckay. We have used antibodies to detect category 1 and other biomarkers in rock samples. Extraction takes a few minutes and analysis a few hours. We have presented use of new antibodies to detect hopanes and have shown proof of operation during martian gravity.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Maule, J.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Steele, A.
(Carnegie Institution of Washington Washington, DC, United States)
Toporski, J.
(Carnegie Institution of Washington Washington, DC, United States)
McKay, D. S.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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