4-billion-year-old nitrogen-containing organic molecules discovered in Martian meteorites

Scientists exploring Mars and analysing Martian meteorite samples have found organic compounds essential for life: nitrogen-bearing organics in a 4-billion-year-old Martian meteorite. With a new high-spatial resolution in-situ N-chemical speciation technique, they found organic materials–either synthesised locally or delivered during the Noachian–preserved intact in carbonate minerals over a long geological period. Their presence requires abiotic or biotic N-fixation and ammonia storage, suggesting early Mars had a less oxidising environment than today.