Personal DNA Sequencer Will Be Sent To Mars
Nobody knows for sure, if there’s life on Mars right now, though researchers suppose it might be found out through gene sequencing and aim at sending a DNA sequencer on Mars. MIT has been working for a long time on a project, called “search for extraterrestrial genomes”, but recently venture biologists, J. Craig Venter and Jonathan Rothberg, seem to have made a scientific breakthrough in this field. J. Craig Venter (one of the first to sequence the human genome) has developed a device that will autonomously isolate microbes from Martian soil, sequence up their DNA, and then send the results back to Earth. The device is not yet 100% robotic and needs improvement by Venter’s company, Synthetic Genomics.
The Ion Torrent team headed by Jonathan Rothberg has designed a personal DNA sequencer, Ion Torrent, and also plan to send it to Mars. They have the backing of NASA and are working now to diminish the machine to just three kilograms, giving it a shot on the next Mars rover, which could be launched in 2018.