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Investigations into an unknown organism on the martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001

Steele, Andrew; Goddard, David T.; Stapleton, Dave; Toporski, Jan K. W.; Peters, Vanessa; Bassinger, Virginia; Sharples, George; Wynn-Williams, David D.; Mckay, David S.. 2000 Investigations into an unknown organism on the martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 35 (2). 237-241. 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2000.tb01772.x

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Abstract/Summary

Examination of fracture surfaces near the fusion crust of the martian meteorite Allan Hills (ALH) 84001 have been conducted using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) and has revealed structures strongly resembling mycelium. These structures were compared with similar structures found in Antarctic cryptoendolithic communities. On morphology alone, we conclude that these features are not only terrestrial in origin but probably belong to a member of the Actinomycetales, which we consider was introduced during the Antarctic residency of this meteorite. If true, this is the first documented account of terrestrial microbial activity within a meteorite from the Antarctic blue ice fields. These structures, however, do not bear any resemblance to those postulated to be martian biota, although they are a probable source of the organic contaminants previously reported in this meteorite.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2000.tb01772.x
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Pre 2000 programme
ISSN: 10869379
Additional Keywords: meteorite, Allan Hills, 84001, martian meteorite, fusion crust, Actinomycetales, mycelium
Date made live: 16 Jul 2013 13:32 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/502473

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