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Scientists say Mars may be habitable today

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LOS ANGELES — Scientists say that Mars may be capable of supporting microbial life today, according to

Several researchers said that ongoing research in Mars-like places such as Antarctica and Chile’s Atacama Desert shows that microbes can eke out a living in extremely cold and dry environments.

Evidence is also growing that liquid water might flow seasonally at some Martian sites, potentially providing a haven for life.

“We certainly can’t rule out the possibility that it’s habitable today,” said Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, according to

Some observations seem to suggest that briny water may flow down Martian slopes during the local summer and spring.

Researchers said that 16 such sites have been identified, mostly on the slopes of the huge Valles Marineris canyon system.

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