A biochemist from Florida recently presented his findings at a conference in Italy, explaining that he thinks early life on Earth was actually early life on Mars that was transported to our planet via meteorite. Steven Benner of the Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida says that way back then, Earth was completely covered in water, which would have made it difficult for Boron to form in high enough concentrations.
An oxidized form of the element molybdenum, which may have been crucial to the origin of life, was likely available on the Red Planet's surface long ago, but unavailable on Earth, said Benner, who presented his findings today (Aug. 28; Aug. 29 local time) at the annual Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Florence, Italy. [The Search for Life on Mars (Photo Timeline)]
"It’s only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed," Benner said in a statement. "This form of molybdenum couldn’t have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because 3 billion years ago, the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did. It’s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet."