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Friday, October 21, 2016

Discovered the oldest traces of life on Earth

A group of Australian researchers, under the leadership of Allen Nutman from the University of Wollongong found in Greenland traces of the existence of the oldest living creatures on the planet. According to scientists, their discovery suggests that life on our planet originated more than 3.7 billion years ago, much earlier than was believed until now.

photo: pixabay.com

Until now it was assumed that the first organisms on Earth were formed in the so-called “primary soup” about 3.4 billion years ago — at least, sufficiently convincing evidence that living things inhabited the planet much earlier, a long time did not exist. However, a few years ago, scientists began to find the first evidence, speaking in favor of the fact that life on Earth is older than it seems.

For some time the attention of scientists was attracted to graphite from the isua formation in Greenland, which appeared 3.7 billion years ago, and in 2013, experts from Japan have managed to obtain the first evidence that the formation of this graphite “participated” living beings — this was evidenced by the typical proportion of carbon isotopes in them.

In the new study, Australian scientists, according to them, managed to obtain even more convincing evidence that in the distant past, the territory of modern formations of Isua was inhabited by the microorganisms. We are talking about traces of their activities, found in stromatolites — fossils of the rocks originally formed on melkovodnykh parts of the reservoir (in this case, according to the researchers, it was primordial soup). It is assumed that “basis” for the formation of such species was the waste products and the remains of ancient bacteria. Although organic compounds in the composition studied by scientists of the stones did not survive, according to its composition they differ from the surrounding rocks, and the researchers tend to write off this difference is on the impact of ancient microorganisms.

Although the new evidence is somewhat indirect, and in the scientific community, in all probability, there are scientists who are skeptical about the scientific work to the study published in the highly prestigious scientific journal Nature.


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