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No. 134: MAR-APR 2001

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Speaking of ALH 84001

Among the various magnetic grains comprising ALH 84001 are some nanometersized, hexagonal prisms that are "indistinguishable" from those excreted by terrestrial magnetotactic bacteria:

Just when scientists in general were convinced that ALH 84001's "worms" had a mineralogical (i.e., non-biological) origin, along comes this revelation. The ALH-84001 controversy is not over yet.

(Kerr, Richard A.; "Tiny Magnets Point to Martian Life," Science, 290:2242, 2000.)

Comment. In terrestrial magnetotactic bacteria, these magnetic crystals are strung together to make a sort of compass needle that helps orient the organism in muck and other lightless and lowly habitats.)

From Science Frontiers #134, MAR-APR 2001. � 2001 William R. Corliss

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