Navigation Links
Evidence of 3.5 billion-year-old bacterial ecosystems found in Australia
Date:11/12/2013

Washington, D.C. Reconstructing the rise of life during the period of Earth's history when it first evolved is challenging. Earth's oldest sedimentary rocks are not only rare, but also almost always altered by hydrothermal and tectonic activity. A new study from a team including Carnegie's Nora Noffke, a visiting investigator, and Robert Hazen revealed the well-preserved remnants of a complex ecosystem in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old sedimentary rock sequence in Australia. Their work is published in Astrobiology.

The Pilbara district of Western Australia constitutes one of the famous geological regions that allow insight into the early evolution of life. Mound-like deposits created by ancient photosynthetic bacteria, called stromatolites, and microfossils of bacteria have been described by scientists in detail. However, a phenomenon called microbially induced sedimentary structures, or MISS, had not previously been seen in this region. These structures are formed from mats of microbial material, much like mats seen today on stagnant waters or in coastal flats.

The team included Noffke, Hazen, Daniel Christian of Old Dominion University, and David Wacey of the University of Western Australia. They described various MISS preserved in the region's Dresser Formation. Advanced chemical analyses point toward a biological origin of the material.

The Dresser MISS fossils resemble strongly in form and preservation the MISS from several other younger rock samples, such as a 2.9 billion-year-old ecosystem Noffke and her colleagues found in South Africa.

"This work extends the geological record of MISS by almost 300 million years," said Noffke, who is also a professor at ODU. "Complex mat-forming microbial communities likely existed almost 3.5 billion years ago."

The team proposes that the sedimentary structures arose from the interactions of bacterial films with shoreline sediments from the region.

"The structures give a very clear signal on what the ancient conditions were, and what the bacteria composing the biofilms were able to do," Noffke said.

MISS are among the targets of Mars rovers, which search for similar formations on that planet's surface. Thus, the team's findings could have relevance for studies of our larger Solar System as well.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert M. Hazen
rhazen@ciw.edu
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Research reveals first evidence of hunting by prehistoric Ohioans
2. Strong scientific evidence that eating berries benefits the brain
3. UNH research adds to mounting evidence against popular pavement sealcoat
4. NIST/UMass study finds evidence nanoparticles may increase plant DNA damage
5. Evidence shows that anti-depressants likely do more harm than good, researchers find
6. Evidence of familial vulnerability for epilepsy and psychosis
7. New evidence that many genes of small effect influence economic decisions and political attitudes
8. DNA evidence shows that marine reserves help to sustain fisheries
9. New evidence in fructose debate: Could it be healthy for us?
10. Study provides first evidence of coevolution between invasive, native species
11. First direct evidence that elemental fluorine occurs in nature
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Evidence of 3.5 billion-year-old bacterial ecosystems found in Australia
(Date:3/2/2017)... Who risk to be deprived of its imprint in ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4313699/ WILL APPLE AND SAMSUNG CONFRONT EACH ... using capacitive technology represent a fast growing market, especially ... increase of 360% of the number of fingerprint sensor ... market between 2014 and 2017 (source : N+1 Singer, ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... March 1, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE), a ... Richard P. Moberg has resigned, effective March ... Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Aware citing a ... as a member of the Board of Directors of ... co-Chief Executive Officer and co-President, General Counsel has been ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... -- News solutions for biometrics, bag drop and New ... At ... 16 March, Materna will present its complete end-to-end passenger journey, ... a real benefit for passengers. To accelerate the whole passenger ... point solutions to take passengers through the complete integrated process ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)...  The global market for clinical laboratory services ... new report from Kalorama Information.  In addition to ... evaluate disease progression, monitor drug treatment and conditions, ... healthcare market research firm,s report, Clinical ... of the medical laboratory industry and the trends ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 27, 2017 The new research portal ... library of reports on Valero Energy , offering extensive ... petrochemical industries. ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO) The latest ... go green. Ethanol today, even though touted as a green ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... A research team led by ... in JoVE’s Video Journal, the world’s first peer-reviewed scientific video journal. The article ... coronary artery disease (CAD). Lam is an assistant professor at the Department of ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: ... health and big data solutions, today announced that it ... coverage option for U.S. consumers who want to have ... DarioHealth has signed strategic alliance agreements with partners across ... coverage benefits, and if approved, will supply and bill ...
Breaking Biology Technology: