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The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization–gas chromatography–MS and their implications for the Viking results

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dc.contributor Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
dc.contributor Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (México)
dc.contributor National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US)
dc.creator Navarro-González, Rafael
dc.creator Navarro, Karina F.
dc.creator Rosa, José de la
dc.creator Íñiguez, Enrique
dc.creator Molina, Paola
dc.creator Miranda, Luis D.
dc.creator Morales, Pedro
dc.creator Cienfuegos, Edith
dc.creator Coll, Patrice
dc.creator Raulin, François
dc.creator Amils, Ricardo
dc.creator McKay, Christopher P.
dc.date 2008-06-12T11:41:31Z
dc.date 2008-06-12T11:41:31Z
dc.date 2006-10-31
dc.date.accessioned 2017-01-31T01:40:17Z
dc.date.available 2017-01-31T01:40:17Z
dc.identifier Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 October 31; 103(44): 16089–16094
dc.identifier 1091-6490
dc.identifier http://hdl.handle.net/10261/5034
dc.identifier 10.1073/pnas.0604210103
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.mediu.edu.my:8181/xmlui/handle/10261/5034
dc.description Copyright © by National Academy of Sciences.-- La versión original está disponible en http://www.pnas.org/content/vol103/issue44/.-- Supplementary material available at: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1621051#supplementary-material-sec
dc.description The failure of Viking Lander thermal volatilization (TV) (without or with thermal degradation)–gas chromatography (GC)–MS experiments to detect organics suggests chemical rather than biological interpretations for the reactivity of the martian soil. Here, we report that TV–GC–MS may be blind to low levels of organics on Mars. A comparison between TV–GC–MS and total organics has been conducted for a variety of Mars analog soils. In the Antarctic Dry Valleys and the Atacama and Libyan Deserts we find 10–90 μg of refractory or graphitic carbon per gram of soil, which would have been undetectable by the Viking TV–GC–MS. In iron-containing soils (jarosites from Rio Tinto and Panoche Valley) and the Mars simulant (palogonite), oxidation of the organic material to carbon dioxide (CO2) by iron oxides and/or their salts drastically attenuates the detection of organics. The release of 50–700 ppm of CO2 by TV–GC–MS in the Viking analysis may indicate that an oxidation of organic material took place. Therefore, the martian surface could have several orders of magnitude more organics than the stated Viking detection limit. Because of the simplicity of sample handling, TV–GC–MS is still considered the standard method for organic detection on future Mars missions. We suggest that the design of future organic instruments for Mars should include other methods to be able to detect extinct and/or extant life.
dc.description This work was supported by National Autonomous University of Mexico Grant DGAPAIN101903 and National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico Grant 45810-F and by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets program.
dc.description Peer reviewed
dc.format 22195 bytes
dc.format application/pdf
dc.language eng
dc.publisher National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
dc.rights openAccess
dc.subject Astrobiology
dc.subject Deserts
dc.subject Detection of organics
dc.subject Search for martian life
dc.subject Extreme environments
dc.title The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization–gas chromatography–MS and their implications for the Viking results
dc.type Artículo

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