by Bill Holbrook
GENETIC MATERIAL When Samantha, Ming and Jenny emerged from the flooded hole their suits were fortunate not to be breached. Nothing was torn or shredded, so they weren’t exposed to any Martian organisms (or vice versa). For the time being, the barrier between the planets remains intact. The three returned to base, and kept their suits on during the decontamination process. That’s when Samantha discovered a six-inch double helix structure in the container she was using to obtain a fluid sample when their exploration was cut short. It was placed in a glove box which allowed it to be examined without coming into contact with the rest of the living quarters. She found it was identical in chemical composition to DNA on Earth, just vastly larger in size. Nothing like it could exist on the surface, leading one to surmise a rich ecosystem in the planet’s interior. Too bad it keeps trying to kill us. Next week: an update on the dodos.

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