Archives

Origin & Evolution of Life: April 2013


Tiny 1,900 million-year-old fossils from rocks around Lake Superior, Canada, give the first ever snapshot of organisms eating each other and suggest what the ancient Earth would have smelled like. The fossils, preserved in Gunflint chert, capture ancient microbes in the act of feasting on a cyanobacterium-like fossil called Gunflintia - with the perforated sheaths of Gunflintia being the discarded leftovers of this early meal.

A research team of biogeochemists at the University of California, Riverside has provided a new view on the relationship between the earliest accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere, arguably the most important biological event in Earth history, and its relationship to the sulfur cycle.


Life on Earth may have originated not in warm tropical seas, but with weird tubes of ice -- sometimes called "sea stalactites" -- that grow downward into cold seawater near the Earth's poles, scientists are reporting. Their article on these "brinicles" appears in ACS' journal Langmuir.