Gilbert V. Levin, who said he found traces of life on Mars, dies at 97


Dr. Levin met T. Keith GlennanAt a Christmas party, NASA’s first administrator was asked if the newly formed space agency was interested in searching for life on Mars. He proposed the idea of ​​a labeled release experiment, and NASA began funding its development.

After the sale of the consulting company, Dr. Levin worked at Hazelton Laboratories in Vienna, Va. He was offered a professorship at Colorado State University in 1967, but instead founded Biospherics Research and later changed its name to Spherix. Tagatoz was to become the company’s blockbuster project, but success never came.

“When a large part of the board of directors took over the company, it lost control of the company,” said Henry Levin.

Spherix, now known as Alkido Pharma, gave up on tagatose and started creating other businesses, such as using artificial intelligence to develop new drugs.

In addition to his son Henry, Chevy Chase, Md. and Palm Beach, Fla., home of Dr. Levin was survived by another son, Ron; daughter Carol Sanchez; and six grandchildren. His wife, Karen, died in 2019.

Dr. What Levin’s Mars experiment discovered and didn’t discover remains unsolved.

“It’s a big step forward,” said James L. Green, NASA’s chief scientist. “He kept thinking of us, well, what could it be?”

A real answer awaits the return of rock and soil samples from Mars, which NASA’s new Perseverance rover will soon begin to collect. But there’s no way Perseverance can send the samples back to Earth. The task of retrieving them and returning them is still on the drawing board, and scientists won’t be able to study these samples until the 2030s.


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