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Author Topic:   Earliest life may be up to 4.28 billion years old.
RAZD
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Message 1 of 15 (800883)
03-01-2017 3:23 PM


quote:
Earliest evidence of life on Earth 'found'
By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News

Ancient life: These clumps of iron and filaments show similarities to modern microbes

Scientists have discovered what they say could be fossils of some of the earliest living organisms on Earth.

They are represented by tiny filaments, knobs and tubes in Canadian rocks dated to be up to 4.28 billion years old.

That is a time not long after the planet's formation and hundreds of millions of years before what is currently accepted as evidence for the most ancient life yet found on Earth.

The researchers report their investigation in the journal Nature.

The researchers report their investigation in the journal Nature.

As with all such claims about ancient life, the study is contentious. But the team believes it can answer any doubts.

The scientists' putative microbes from Quebec are one-tenth the width of a human hair and contain significant quantities of haematite - a form of iron oxide or "rust".

Matthew Dodd, who analysed the structures at University College London, UK, claimed the discovery would shed new light on the origins of life.

This bright red "concretion" of iron-and silica-rich rock contains the features interpreted as microfossils

"It is very humbling to have the oldest known lifeforms in your hands and being able to look at them and analyse them," he told BBC News.

The fossil structures were encased in quartz layers in the so-called Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt (NSB).


Tantalizing

Enjoy


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Replies to this message:
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Stile
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Posts: 3037
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
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(1)
Message 2 of 15 (800961)
03-02-2017 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
03-01-2017 3:23 PM


Lots of rock
One of the more geologically-inclined can correct me if I'm wrong.

But that red rock, to my untrained-amateurish eyes, looks like the same red rock that covers most of Northern Ontario too.
That is... the rock dubbed The Canadian Shield.

Once you get... say... 3-4 hours north of Toronto... you can't move 20 feet without running into 10s-of-meters-thick slabs of this red rock everywhere. For thousands of miles.


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1.61803
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Message 3 of 15 (800968)
03-02-2017 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
03-01-2017 3:23 PM


I think I can see it RAZD! It's Alive!!!!!!!


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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caffeine
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(3)
Message 4 of 15 (801004)
03-02-2017 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Stile
03-02-2017 9:58 AM


Re: Lots of rock
But that red rock, to my untrained-amateurish eyes, looks like the same red rock that covers most of Northern Ontario too.
That is... the rock dubbed The Canadian Shield.

It is, indeed, part of the Canadian Shield; as this includes some of the largest known areas of exposed Archaean rock (meaning rock more than 2,500 million years old) in the world. Found a nice map on a blog about geology. The grey bits are surface exposures of rocks formed in the Archaean. These fossils(?) were found just on the eastern edge of Hudson bay.

Edited by caffeine, : East is East


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RAZD
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Posts: 19225
From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 5 of 15 (801020)
03-02-2017 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by 1.61803
03-02-2017 10:44 AM


... It's Alive!!!!!!!

Yes, I thought the BBC news piece on it was a little over the top hype etc, talking as if these were actual fossils of critters, whereas what you are seeing is purportedly the byproducts of activity.

What is not determined that I can see is: is it prebiotic (organic chemistry) activity or full blown life.

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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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RAZD
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Posts: 19225
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 6 of 15 (801026)
03-02-2017 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Stile
03-02-2017 9:58 AM


Here's the Nature article
Here's the Nature article

quote:
Evidence for early life in Earth’s oldest hydrothermal vent precipitates

Matthew S. Dodd, Dominic Papineau, Tor Grenne, John F. Slack, Martin Rittner, Franco Pirajno, Jonathan O’Neil & Crispin T. S. Little

Nature 543, 60–64 (02 March 2017) doi:10.1038/nature21377

Received 12 November 2016 Accepted 09 January 2017 Published online 01 March 2017

Abstract

Although it is not known when or where life on Earth began, some of the earliest habitable environments may have been submarine-hydrothermal vents. Here we describe putative fossilized microorganisms that are at least 3,770 million and possibly 4,280 million years old in ferruginous sedimentary rocks, interpreted as seafloor-hydrothermal vent-related precipitates, from the Nuvvuagittuq belt in Quebec, Canada. These structures occur as micrometre-scale haematite tubes and filaments with morphologies and mineral assemblages similar to those of filamentous microorganisms from modern hydrothermal vent precipitates and analogous microfossils in younger rocks. The Nuvvuagittuq rocks contain isotopically light carbon in carbonate and carbonaceous material, which occurs as graphitic inclusions in diagenetic carbonate rosettes, apatite blades intergrown among carbonate rosettes and magnetite–haematite granules, and is associated with carbonate in direct contact with the putative microfossils. Collectively, these observations are consistent with an oxidized biomass and provide evidence for biological activity in submarine-hydrothermal environments more than 3,770 million years ago.


Slightly different take ... at least 3.77 billion years old, observations "consistent with an oxidized biomass"

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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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CRR
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Message 7 of 15 (801072)
03-03-2017 5:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
03-01-2017 3:23 PM


They are tiny graphite deposits and “hematite tubes” which the authors think are biogenically created. The first thing to do is wait and see if this is actually accepted as evidence of life. It might be just another false alarm or equivocal.
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Pressie
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From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 8 of 15 (801073)
03-03-2017 6:01 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by CRR
03-03-2017 5:44 AM


Hey, CRR. How do we quantify the genetic information of those fossils (if indeed they are)?
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CRR
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From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016


Message 9 of 15 (801079)
03-03-2017 6:54 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Pressie
03-03-2017 6:01 AM


None, since there are no genes.
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Pressie
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From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
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Message 10 of 15 (801087)
03-03-2017 7:16 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by CRR
03-03-2017 6:54 AM


Ah, great. Now how do we determine whether those fossils had more or less genetic information than those prokareotes living today? Quantities, please.
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19225
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 11 of 15 (801093)
03-03-2017 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Pressie
03-03-2017 7:16 AM


Links and Information is not a debate forum
this is Links and Information forum, not a debate forum

Thanks


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19225
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 12 of 15 (801094)
03-03-2017 8:39 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by CRR
03-03-2017 5:44 AM


They are tiny graphite deposits and “hematite tubes” which the authors think are biogenically created. The first thing to do is wait and see if this is actually accepted as evidence of life. It might be just another false alarm or equivocal.

That is my concern as well. Also I wonder if pre-biotic activity could also generate those same signals, the "RNA world" and self-replicating molecules -- see Self-Replicating Molecules - Life's Building Blocks (Part II) for discussion.

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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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CRR
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From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016


(1)
Message 13 of 15 (802324)
03-15-2017 1:42 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by RAZD
03-03-2017 8:34 AM


Re: Links and Information is not a debate forum
Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't noticed the difference.
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Pressie
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Posts: 1829
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 14 of 15 (802495)
03-17-2017 8:04 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by CRR
03-15-2017 1:42 AM


Re: Links and Information is not a debate forum
Hey CRR. Please quantify genetic information.
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19225
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 15 of 15 (802579)
03-18-2017 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Pressie
03-17-2017 8:04 AM


Re: Links and Information is not a debate forum
Links and Information not a debate forum


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

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