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Red Pest

Red Pest's Journal
Red Pest's Journal
January 19, 2022

Depleted carbon isotope compositions observed at Gale crater, Mars

Just published in PNAS - PNAS January 25, 2022 119 (4) e2115651119; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2115651119

The data presented showing the depletion of 13C compared to 12C support the possibility of ancient biological activity on Mars, but the authors do point out that the data are also consistent with two non-biological explanations. That said, the enrichment of lighter isotopes on earth typically occurs because enzymes will process lighter isotopes faster than heavier ones. So, more data that suggest (but do not prove) Mars has or had biological activity.


Carbon isotopic analysis is among the most pervasive geochemical approaches because the fractionation of carbon isotopes produces a natural tracer of biological and chemical processes. Rover-based carbon isotopic analyses of sedimentary rocks on Mars have the potential to reveal modes of Martian carbon cycling. We report carbon isotopic values of the methane released during pyrolysis of samples obtained at Gale crater. The values show remarkable variation indicating different origins for the carbon evolved from different samples. Samples from multiple locations within Gale crater evolved methane with highly fractionated carbon isotopes. We suggest three routes by which highly fractionated carbon could be deposited on Mars, with each suggesting that Martian carbon cycling is quite distinct from that of the present Earth.


Obtaining carbon isotopic information for organic carbon from Martian sediments has long been a goal of planetary science, as it has the potential to elucidate the origin of such carbon and aspects of Martian carbon cycling. Carbon isotopic values (?13CVPDB) of the methane released during pyrolysis of 24 powder samples at Gale crater, Mars, show a high degree of variation (?137 ± 8‰ to +22 ± 10‰) when measured by the tunable laser spectrometer portion of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite during evolved gas analysis. Included in these data are 10 measured ?13C values less than ?70‰ found for six different sampling locations, all potentially associated with a possible paleosurface. There are multiple plausible explanations for the anomalously depleted 13C observed in evolved methane, but no single explanation can be accepted without further research. Three possible explanations are the photolysis of biological methane released from the subsurface, photoreduction of atmospheric CO2, and deposition of cosmic dust during passage through a galactic molecular cloud. All three of these scenarios are unconventional, unlike processes common on Earth.
February 9, 2018

French Fry Additive May Be Key to Reversing Baldness

French Fry Additive May Be Key to Reversing Baldness, Mouse Study Shows

An ingredient used in cooking McDonald's french fries helped laboratory mice grow new hair follicles. Researchers hope this discovery may help one day reverse baldness in people.

Hair regenerative medicine is a new way to combat baldness, however, it can be the preparation of hair follicle germs on a large scale can be difficult.

The study, published in Biomaterials, was able to prepare up to 5,000 hair follicle germs simultaneously. After transplantation, the method created new hair growth in laboratory mice.

According to the research, conducted at Yokohoma National University in Japan, the dimethylpolysiloxane was key to generating new hair and hair follicle cells in mice.

Dimethylpolysiloxane is used in very small doses to prevent foaming of the oil when frying Chicken McNuggets, fish, and french fries, according to the McDonald's website.

Before you treat yourself to some french fries though, take note: the additive was injected into the laboratory mice. It still probably isn't healthy to load up on fast food.
What can you say - Trump's most fevered dreams come true! McDonald's food cures his baldness. Maybe he will try smearing french fries , Chicken McNuggets, and Filet O'fish on his head.

(Here is the link - https://www.alnmag.com/news/2018/02/french-fry-additive-may-be-key-reversing-baldness-mouse-study-shows?et_cid=6258450&et_rid=45512276&type=cta&et_cid=6258450&et_rid=45512276&linkid=https%3a%2f%2fwww.alnmag.com%2fnews%2f2018%2f02%2ffrench-fry-additive-may-be-key-reversing-baldness-mouse-study-shows%3fet_cid%3d6258450%26et_rid%3d%%subscriberid%%%26type%3dcta)

Profile Information

Name: David Nelson
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Wakefield, RI
Home country: USA
Current location: Wakefield, RI
Member since: Mon May 23, 2016, 03:22 PM
Number of posts: 288

About Red Pest

Married for >40 yr with two adult children; Ph.D. in Microbiology; Professor, Dept. of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Rhode Island; Avid road cyclist for >42 yr; Strong supporter of liberalism and of public education (K to doctorate)
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