Navigation Links
Fool's gold gives scientists priceless insight into Earth's evolution
Date:7/22/2011

Fool's gold is providing scientists with valuable insights into a turning point in the Earth's evolution, which took place billions of years ago.

Scientists are recreating ancient forms of the mineral pyrite dubbed fool's gold for its metallic lustre that reveal details of past geological events.

Detailed analysis of the mineral is giving fresh insight into the Earth before the Great Oxygenation Event, which took place 2.4 billion years ago. This was a time when oxygen released by early forms of bacteria gave rise to new forms of plant and animal life, transforming the Earth's oceans and atmosphere.

Studying the composition of pyrite enables a geological snapshot of events at the time when it was formed. Studying the composition of different forms of iron in fool's gold gives scientists clues as to how conditions such as atmospheric oxygen influenced the processes forming the compound.

The latest research shows that bacteria which would have been an abundant life form at the time did not influence the early composition of pyrite. This result, which contrasts with previous thinking, gives scientists a much clearer picture of the process.

More extensively, their discovery enables better understanding of geological conditions at the time, which informs how the oceans and atmosphere evolved.

The research, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Edinburgh Collaborative of Subsurface Science and Engineering, was published in Science.

Dr Ian Butler, who led the research, said: "Technology allows us to trace scientific processes that we can't see from examining the mineral composition alone, to understand how compounds were formed. This new information about pyrite gives us a much sharper tool with which to analyse the early evolution of the Earth, telling us more about how our planet was formed."

Dr Romain Guilbaud, investigator on the study, said: "Our discovery enables a better understanding of how information on the Earth's evolution, recorded in ancient minerals, can be interpreted."


'/>"/>

Contact: Catriona Kelly
Catriona.Kelly@ed.ac.uk
44-131-651-4401
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Deceitful lily fools flies
2. New duck-billed dinosaur gives scientists clues to evolution of head ornamentation and provinciality
3. Simple test gives accurate prediction of ovulation to help women become pregnant
4. Space research gives birth to new ultrasound tools for health care in orbit, on Earth
5. Stevens Center for Science Writings gives Green Book Award to James Hansen
6. A tale of 2 lakes: One gives early warning signal for ecosystem collapse
7. Sweet chemistry: Carbohydrate adhesion gives stainless steel implants beneficial new functions
8. Inventions of evolution: What gives frogs a face
9. Human networking theory gives picture of infectious disease spread
10. UF research gives clues about carbon dioxide patterns at end of Ice Age
11. Chromosomal break gives scientists a break in finding new puberty gene
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> Competitive Landscape ... Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... market and the continuing migration crisis in the ... has led visiongain to publish this unique report, which is ... & security companies in the border security market and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Next week on May 5 at 2:55 ... for tissue stem cell counting and expansion to gene-editing scientists and other attendees ... Genome Engineering in Burlington, Massachusetts. , The attention of most gene-editing scientists appears ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... ... Cambridge Semantics, the leading provider of Smart Data analytic and data ... to The Silicon Review’s “20 Fastest Growing Big Data Companies of 2016.” , ... of end users facing some of the most complex data challenges in the industry,” ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... it. Touch screen mobile devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice ... are only a few ways consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... The Board ... the appointment of John Tilton as Chief Commercial Officer.  Mr. Tilton joined Biohaven ... the founding commercial leaders responsible for the commercialization of multiple orphan drug indications. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: