Washington D.C., Sept. 16 -- : Acidic fluids -- which once flowed on the Martian surface -- may have destroyed biological evidence hidden within Mars' iron-rich clays, according to researchers at Cornell University and at Spain's Centro de Astrobiologia.

The researchers conducted simulations involving clay and amino acids to draw conclusions regarding the likely degradation of biological material on Mars.

Their paper, 'Constraining the Preservation of Organic Compounds in Mars Analog Nontronites After Exposure to Acid and Alkaline Fluids,' was published on September 15 in Nature Scientific Reports.

Alberto G. Fairen, a visiting scientist in the Department of Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell, is a corresponding aut...