Microfossil spectroscopy dates Earth's first animals

Molecular clock dates for the first animals to walk the Earth don't match the fossil record. Comparing the disparate DNA of two different species and extrapolating how long it would take for them to mutate from a common ancestor ...

Curiosity rover finds an ancient oasis on Mars

If you could travel back in time 3.5 billion years, what would Mars look like? The picture is evolving among scientists working with NASA's Curiosity rover.

Mathematical mystery of ancient Babylonian clay tablet solved

UNSW Sydney scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world's oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient mathematical scribes ...

Mars rock-ingredient stew seen as plus for habitability

NASA's Curiosity rover is climbing a layered Martian mountain and finding evidence of how ancient lakes and wet underground environments changed, billions of years ago, creating more diverse chemical environments that affected ...

Shaping the future of energy storage with conductive clay

In the race to find materials of ever increasing thinness, surface area and conductivity to make better performing battery electrodes, a lump of clay might have just taken the lead. Materials scientists from Drexel University's ...

Mars rover Opportunity examines clay clues in rock

(Phys.org) —NASA's senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is driving to a new study area after a dramatic finish to 20 months on "Cape York" with examination of a rock intensely altered by water.

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Clay

Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.

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