Deep Impact (1998)

Mission to Mars


Concept 1: Gary Sinise's character is sitting at a computer monitor observing a short section (about two full twists) of DNA and exclaims that "This DNA looks human!" However, all DNA (regardless of the organism) has the same characteristic double-helix shape and is composed of the same nitrogenous bases. Furthermore, all mammals have about 90+% of their DNA in common. Thus, unless he sequenced the entire fragment and compared it to that known to be human, he has no scientific reason for drawing this conclusion.

Concept 2: Terri Fisher says that the DNA sequence is misssing the last two chromosomes. DNA is not made up of chromosomes, instead it is made up of nucleotides. Therefore, the sequence is missing the last two nucleotides.

Chromosome                    Nucleotide

Concept 3: The movie states that over a million years ago, 23 chromosomes came from Mars and set off an explosion of life on Earth. This cannot be true, because each organism has a different number of chromosomes. For example, ferns have over 1000 chromosomes, while humans are the only organisms to have 23 chromosomes. Therefore it is impossible for just 23 chromosomes to set off an explosion of life.

Concept 4: Woody Blake immediately freezes after removing his helment in space. He would not freeze instantly, because heat transfer is inefficient in a vacuum (like space). Instead, he would suffer from oxygen deprivation and die, before becoming frozen.

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Ann Haley MacKenzie
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