It might be the most provocative beginning of a story any newspaper has published in quite a while:
"Did life as we know it start on Mars? Are we all Martians? These are the questions some serious scientists are considering," writes Deborah Netburn in the Los Angeles Times.
The story continues: "Speaking at an international conference of geochemists, chemist Steven Benner of the Westheimer Institute of Science and Technology argued Thursday that early Mars provided a more hospitable environment for life to spring up than early Earth.
"’The evidence seems to be building that we are actually Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock,’ he said in a statement."
The article asks, "So, how did life ever get going? Benner can’t say for sure, but he has found evidence that the mineral boron and an oxidized mineral form of the element molybdenum can keep organic material from turning into tar, and may be essential for allowing life to form.
"Those two elements were probably not found on early Earth, because there wasn’t enough oxygen on our planet at the time and it wasn’t dry enough, he said, but they could have been found on early Mars, which did have oxygen and which was more arid.
"’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,’ Benner said in a statement."
For more details please click on the link above to read the full L.A. Times article.