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New AI Algorithm Can Detect Signs of Life With 90% Accuracy. Scientists Want to Send it to Mars

A new artificial intelligence (AI) method has been developed to detect signs of life on other planets with 90% accuracy. While spacecraft sensors can identify molecules suggesting alien life, these molecules degrade over time, making them hard to detect. The AI system can discern molecular patterns indicating biological signals, even in ancient samples. This technology could be integrated into space exploration tools, such as rovers on Mars or spacecraft around potentially habitable moons like Enceladus and Europa. The AI is based on the concept that biomolecules retain information about their formation, differentiating them from abiotic molecules. The AI was trained using 134 samples, successfully identifying biotic samples from various sources, including ancient fossils. This AI could be applied to study ancient rocks in Western Australia, potentially confirming the presence of ancient bacteria. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Photo Credit: Daniele Colucci

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