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Scientists find molecular patterns that may help identify extraterrestrial life

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Scientists have begun the search for extraterrestrial life in the Solar System in earnest, but such life may be subtly or profoundly different from Earth-life, and methods based on detecting particular molecules as biosignatures may not work with life with a different evolutionary history. A new study by a joint Japan/US-based team has developed a machine learning technique that assesses complex organic mixtures using mass spectrometry to reliably classify them as biological or abiological.Scientists have begun the search for extraterrestrial life in the Solar System in earnest, but such life may be subtly or profoundly different from Earth-life, and methods based on detecting particular molecules as biosignatures may not work with life with a different evolutionary history. A new study by a joint Japan/US-based team has developed a machine learning technique that assesses complex organic mixtures using mass spectrometry to reliably classify them as biological or abiological.

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