| Researcher Hunts DNA Evidence on Mars that Could Prove Shared Common Ancestry with Earth
Astrobiologist alumna Alexandra Pontefract, PhD'13 (Geology), knows finding DNA on the Red Planet will be no easy feat. But it is possible. What's more, if DNA is found, it's not far-fetched to think it would be proof of shared ancestry between Earth and Mars. "There is a really good argument for the fact that if there was life on Mars, it would have shared ancestry with Earth. That's because back towards the origins of the solar system, between 4.1 and 3.8 billion years ago, Earth and Mars had formed, and there is evidence they were both habitable at that point in time," said Pontefract. "At the time, there was something going on called the Late Heavy Bombardment, and meant the inner solar system was being hit with lots and lots of meteorites. There was a big exchange of rocks between Mars and Earth. There have been studies that have shown biology can survive being ejected from a planet and survive in space. We know it's possible; it's really amazing." This is what Pontefract is