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A Washington State University undergraduate has helped develop a new method for detecting water on Mars.  

Kellie Wall, 21, of Port Orchard, Wash., looked for evidence that water influenced crystal formation in basalt, the dark volcanic rock that covers most of eastern Washington and Oregon. She then compared this with volcanic rock observations made by the rover Curiosity on Mars' Gale Crater.

"This is really cool because it could potentially be useful for not only the study of rocks on Earth but on Mars and other planets," said Wall.

She is the lead author of the article in Nature Communications.

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