By Nancy Atkinson, Seeker.com, July 6, 2017 

Searching for life on Mars was never going to be easy, but new research suggests that the Martian environment is likely even more harmful to living cells than previously imagined.

There’s some good news and some bad news in the latest research about potential life on Mars.

Researchers from Edinburgh University in the UK found that when certain chemicals on the Red Planet’s surface react with ultraviolet radiation from the sun, a toxic compound can result that can kill some bacteria.

This is great news for those worried about planetary protection — the “prime directive” of any interplanetary mission — to prevent biological contamination of a celestial body from spacecraft visiting from Earth.

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