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Author Topic:   Earliest life may be up to 4.28 billion years old.
RAZD
Member (Idle past 640 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 1 of 16 (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

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 Message 2 by Stile, posted 03-02-2017 9:58 AM RAZD has replied
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 Message 7 by CRR, posted 03-03-2017 5:44 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 640 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 5 of 16 (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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RAZD
Member (Idle past 640 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 6 of 16 (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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RAZD
Member (Idle past 640 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 11 of 16 (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

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 640 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 12 of 16 (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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RAZD
Member (Idle past 640 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 15 of 16 (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
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