From the 11th to 13th of March The Science Park of Granada (Spain) hosted a scientific meeting of the European action COST (European Cooperation On Science and Technology) on CHEMOBRIONICS, coordinated by the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences of the Centre of the Higher Council for Scientific Research and the University of Granada.
120 researchers from 28 countries met at this European COST meeting, which was aimed at fostering interdisciplinary discussions from scientist of different fields as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology or Biology related to the topic of the origin of life and its evolution to broad the search for extraterrestrial life in its different stages. The Post-Doctoral Scholar Elizabeth Escamilla Roa from GAS, participated in this meeting where she presented her work about a plausible mechanism of carbonate formation on Mars. This research is co-authored by Prof. Javier Martin-Torres and Prof. María-Paz Zorzano and considers the formation of self-assembling tubular carbonate structures through precipitation processes of silicate in alkaline conditions with several plausible Martian salts as CaCl2 and sulfates such as, FeSO4.7H2O and MgSO4.7H2O, under the presence of CO2. This silica garden experiments have been run by the GAS group at Luleå University of Technology, to mimic ancient conditions of precipitation on Mars. The analysis of the precipitates with ESEM Micrographs suggest that carbonate may appear though abiotic precipitation of solutions that may have existed on Mars, forming microstructures of calcium carbonate with various morphologies.