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Humans will discover aliens within our lifetime, a scientist has sensationally claimed.
Dr Garik Isrealian believes the discovery will be so profound it will "shake humanity".
The astrophysicist even believes we will discovered alien microbes, perhaps on Mars, within the next decade.
He told The Sun: "I think we will discover intelligent life in our lifetime.
"At least, we will find clear signatures [evidence of life] that have come from intelligent life. It’s the kind of discovery that will shake humanity."
It would be quite interesting for science, but I think it would make us realise 'life is such an incredible thing, we’d better take care of what we’re doing on our own planet'."
He has been in astrophysics for decades and has published more than 500 scientific papers.
NASA is preparing to send humans to Mars in the 2030s and to bring back samples for testing on Earth.
But Dr Barry DiGregorio, an an honorary research fellow at the University of Buckingham's Centre for Astrobiology, fears samples could contain deadly pathogens that could spark future pandemics.
He told Daily Star Online: "The surface of Mars today is bitterly cold, relentlessly desiccating, and harshly oxidizing so it is unlikely that life as we know it could be active.
"Even so, the current policy is to treat any Mars samples returned to Earth with utmost caution.
"It is important to note that NASA has safely brought back comet dust, solar wind particles as well as rocks and regolith from the Moon. We also – already – have pieces of Mars here on Earth, as meteorites.
"These Martian meteorites have posed no known health risks to humans or any harm to Earth’s biosphere.
"NASA and ESA are working with international experts from industry, academia, and government agencies to design and test combinations of containment, sterilization, and molecular deactivation to meet stringent standards for preventing harm to Earth’s environment from potential extraterrestrial biology."
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