PUBLISHED: 17:36, Fri, Sep 18, 2020 | UPDATED: 17:38, Fri, Sep 18, 2020
Our planet contains all the known ingredients required for life as we know it. These include liquid water, at least one source of energy, and an array of biologically necessary elements and molecules.
But this week’s discovery of a potentially biogenic chemical in the clouds of Venus provided a startling reminder we really may not be alone in the Universe, let alone the solar system.
But conclusively finding evidence of past or current alien life elsewhere has so far confounded scientists.
However, researchers have now built an automated microchip electrophoresis analyser.
This, they believe, could one day detect alien bio-signatures in extraterrestrial soil.
READ MORE: UFO hunter thinks he found an 'underground city' on Mercury
Alien life: Astrologers have unveiled an ET-tracking device (Image: Getty)
A fully automated microchip electrophoresis analyser could someday be deployed in the search for life on other worlds (Image: Analytical Chemistry 2020)
A key element of detecting evidence for alien life elsewhere in the Universe is the presence of a certain category of organic molecules.
The search for alien life on Mars has traditionally focussed on gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry to separate and detect compounds associated with life.
But, this technique has limitations in the analysis of certain molecules.
This includes organic acids, particularly when water, minerals or salts are present in the sample.
Researchers have now built an automated microchip electrophoresis analyser (Image: Express)