Searching for Bio-Molecules

Science for the Public's Working Science mini-documentary series April 2015

Roger Summons, Ph.D., Professor of Geobiology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Summons Lab combines geobiology and astrobiology. As one of the lead participating labs in NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project, the Summons Lab analyzes potential bio-molecules in ancient Earth sediments and rocks, and applies that expertise to the search for bio-molecules or their precursors on Mars. In this video, we see how geobiologists/astrobiologists select and chemically analyze rock and soil samples on Earth, and how they also analyze data received from the Mars Curiosity Rover as the robot gathers Martian soil samples. Dr. Summons shows the very sophisticated equipment that makes it possible to reproduce and verify in this MIT lab the results of the Mars Curiosity Rover probes.