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:12/7/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , December 7, 2016 ... year with the expansion of its patent portfolio, which grew to over ... , , ... led by its recently filed patent entitled " System, Device, ... which covers technology that enables device makers to forego costly hardware components ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Dec. 6, 2016 Valencell , the leading ... has seen a third consecutive year of triple digit ... in 2016 with a 360 percent increase in companies ... increase was driven by sales of its wrist and ... in its technology for hearables for fitness and healthcare ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 1, 2016   SoftServe , a ... BioLock , an electrocardiogram (ECG) biosensor analysis system ... key IoT asset. The smart system ensures device-to-device ... steering wheel and mobile devices to easily ,recognize, ... As vehicle technology advances, so too must ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 07, 2016 , ... JULABO USA is inviting visitors to ... website has been designed to provide the best user-friendly experience coupled with intuitive ... product information, read educational industry content as well as share information across all ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Hole, Massachusetts (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... Kara Dwyer Dodge grew up ... Richard Dwyer, a third-generation fisherman in Scituate, Mass., found a sea turtle entangled in the ... shore, where the turtle became a minor sensation because no one could remember ever seeing ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SQD; OTCQX: SQIDF), today ... fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. ... , , SQI ... company that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products for advanced ... revenues of $1.4 million more than tripling prior years revenue. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... The ... asking the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to consider OA as a serious disease. ... concerned about the growing population of OA patients, many of whom may experience ...
Breaking Biology Technology: