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For years, scientists have searched far and wide for any evidence of life in the cosmos. Certain planets like Mars and Venus have offered some hope in the form of microscopic organisms, such as methanogens. In 2019, efforts were ramped up after the Curiosity rover discovered traces of methane in the Red Planet's atmosphere.

But, further investigations proved fruitless.

Then, there was the breakthrough discovery of phosphine on Venus — a toxic gas whose presence usually indicates the presence of life.

Yet, again, nothing was ever found.

Efforts within the methods of searching for extraterrestrial life (SETI) and messaging extraterrestrial intelligence (METI) have ramped up since the beginning of the Tens, however.

So much so that in 2015, then chief NASA scientist Ellen Stofan claimed that by 2025, scientists will likely discover the first signs of alien life in space.

Her prediction places us just three years from a potential breakthrough — a tantalising thought for extraterrestrial buffs.

Speaking during a panel discussion that focused on the space agency's efforts to search for habitable worlds and alien life, she said: "I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.

"We know where to look.

"We know how to look.

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