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California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Fatty Acid Recovery And Identification In Mars Analogue Soil Samples, Kimberly E. Lykens Aug 2015

Fatty Acid Recovery And Identification In Mars Analogue Soil Samples, Kimberly E. Lykens

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

A primary goal of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission is to gather and store samples of Mars soil that could possibly be returned to Earth in a future mission for investigations into past or present life. In years leading up to a potential sample return mission on Mars and potentially other worlds, samples taken from Chile’s Atacama Desert, the most arid, biologically limited desert in the world, are valuable in developing a capacity for biosignature detection, specifically when exploring fatty acid abundance. Eighteen samples were collected from two sites in the Atacama characterized by biological soil crusts (BSC). BSCs ...