Experiment harnesses state-of-the-art sequencing technology to detect life on Mars UC Berkeley

The same cutting-edge technology that speeded sequencing of the human genome could, by the end of the decade, tell us once and for all whether life ever existed on Mars, according to a University of California, Berkeley, chemist. Richard Mathies, UC Berkeley professor of chemistry and developer of the first capillary electrophoresis arrays and new energy transfer fluorescent dye labels – both used in today’s DNA sequencers – is at work on an instrument that would use these technologies to probe Mars dust for evidence of life-based amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.