Evidence of earliest life on Earth disputed

When Australian scientists presented evidence in 2016 of life on Earth 3.7 billon years ago—pushing the record back 220 million years—it was a big deal, influencing even the search for life on Mars.

Bacteria could aid search for creatures on other planets

Could there be a way to find bacterial structures on another planet? And if so, how important might these bacteria be in making a planet life-friendly? These are some of the questions that could be answered through studies ...

Microbial mats offer clues to life on early Earth

Ancient clusters of rock that preserve some of the oldest microbes on Earth occasionally possess mysterious branch-like formations. Now, scientists think they know what might have caused this enigmatic branching—changes ...

A 3.45-billion-year-old diet

Researchers are providing new information about the 'diet' of microorganisms on the early Earth. By studying 3.45-billion-year-old rocks, the team uncovered clues about ancient microbial metabolism.

Stepping stones through time

Stromatolites are the most ancient fossils on Earth, and these structures built by microbes can still be found forming today in various places around the globe. Although they provide a straight line of life’s history ...

Bacterial growths may offer clues about Earth's distant past

One way that geologists try to decipher how cells functioned as far back as 3 billion years is by studying modern microbial mats, or gooey layers of nutrient-exchanging bacteria that grow mostly on moist surfaces and collect ...

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