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Gilbert V. Levin: New Evidence Supports Life on Mars

Abstract: A simple description of the Viking Mission Labeled Release experiment is given along with all the results it achieved on Mars.  The author claims that evidence for current microbial life on Mars was obtained.  He contends that the evidence has grown over the 39 years since Viking, and that all the many objections raised over the years against that conclusion have been rebutted.  Recently, this evidence has been supported by his predictions that the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), Curiosity, would confirm the presence of liquid water, and would also find complex bio-organic compounds.  Both predictions have come true.  The question is raised as to why NASA scientists, especially those associated with Curiosity, constantly deny that any of its findings indicate the presence of past or current life.

Profile:  Adjunct Professor, Beyond Center, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.  Founder of Spherix Inc. (NASDAQ SPEX).  In1967, he was CEO, President and Chair, retiring in 2008. 

From 1948 to 1952, Levin served successively as public health engineer in the health departments of Maryland, California and the District of Columbia.   He then co-founded Resources Research, Inc., an environmental engineering firm.  There he headed a NASA-appointed committee to recommend experiments for the BioSatellite Mission.  He also served on the NASA-appointed Planetary Quarantine Advisory Panel.  He then became Principal Investigator for a study of NASA's still-pending Mars Sample Return Mission.  Upon his company's acquisition by Hazelton Laboratories, Falls Church, VA, in 1963, Levin founded and directed its Life Systems Division.  There, he continued his innovative approaches to detecting microbial life. 

He served as Co-Investigator on the IRIS experiment flown on NASA's 1971 Mariner Mission to Mars.  NASA selected his Labeled Release life detection experiment for the Viking Mission, which landed on Mars in 1976.  Positive results were obtained at both Viking landing sites.  After years of study, Dr. Levin concluded, in 1997, that the experiment had detected living microorganisms.  He was designated as a Team member of NASA's MOx experiment on the ill-fated Russian '96 Mission to Mars. 

Levin has 140 papers published in science and technology journals.  His more than 50 patents include low-calorie sweeteners, therapeutic drugs, one currently under test for type 2 diabetes, methods for the rapid detection of microorganisms, the firefly bioluminescent ATP assay for the detection and measurement of biomass, safe-for-humans pesticides, advanced wastewater treatment methods, and biological nutrient removal from municipal wastewater. 

Trustee Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Levin is a member of its National Advisory Council for the Whiting School of Engineering, and has served on Hopkins National Library and National Industrial Advisory Councils.  His awards include the Distinguished Alumnus Medal from Johns Hopkins, the Public Service Medal from NASA, the Newcomb-Cleveland Award from the AAAS and the IR-100 Award from Industrial Research Magazine.  He is a Member of the Sigma Xi, is listed in Who's Who, and is a member of the Cosmos Club.  Dr. Levin has B.E., M.S. and PhD degrees in civil engineering, sanitary engineering and public health, and environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Brought to you in cooperation with the Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project.