No, NASA photos are not evidence of fungus growing on Mars, sorry

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(May 6, 2021;CNET)

Mars is very in right now. NASA's Perseverance rover is up there searching for life, and the agency's Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, is pulling off daring aerial feats. But on Wednesday, Mars appeared in the news for all the wrong reasons. According to websites like the Daily Mail, scientists were making a pretty wild claim: Fungi were alive and well on the red planet.


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The new paper, dubbed "Fungi on Mars? Evidence of Growth and Behavior From Sequential Images" and available on ResearchGate, rehashes some of the old arguments for life on Mars, using inaccurate methodology to draw its conclusions. For the most part, Joseph and his co-authors use images obtained by NASA rovers and draw red lines and arrows to point out features they believe correspond to fungal growth.

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