Geology

  • Diamonds in the Rough
    Friedemann Freund is investigating the complex chemistry of common rocks like granite, in hopes of uncovering more clues to the origin of life and how oxygen came to support it since the early Earth.
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  • Earth's Oldest Fossils Reverse Course
    It's a critical question of life science: Are microscopic structures found in 3.5 billion-year-old Archean rocks from Western Australia the oldest fossils of life on Earth? That depends, says one scientist, on whether you think the rocks formed from above -- or below.
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  • Earth’s Oldest Fossils Reverse Course
    It's a critical question of life science: Are microscopic structures found in 3.5 billion-year-old Archean rocks from Western Australia the oldest fossils of life on Earth? That depends, says one scientist, on whether you think the rocks formed from above -- or below.
    more...
  • File Compression: New Tool for Life Detection?
    Some of Earth's oldest rocks contain intriguing layered structures. Were living organisms responsible, or was it merely a random chemical process? The answer, says one researcher, may be a simple matter of compressing a computer file.
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  • Diamond Time Capsules
    As the hardest natural substance, diamonds also preserve the early sulfur content of Earth. New research points to diamonds thrust volcanically to the surface as time capsules.
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  • Ancient Fossils – or Just Plain Rocks?
    How the 3.5 billion year history of Earth gets written depends on proposed fossilized bacteria found in rocks from Western Australia. If life did exist that early then biological beginnings predated significant atmospheric oxygen by about a billion years. The debaters have just
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  • When Did Life on Earth Begin? Ask a Rock
    Some of the oldest rocks on Earth, found in Greenland, hold important clues to life's beginnings. The problem is, experts disagree both about how to interpret the clues and about how old the rocks really are.
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  • Signs of Life in Acid-Washed Rocks
    Clues to early terrestrial life may be entombed in ancient sedimentary rocks, if only acid vapor can unveil their fossil shapes.
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  • Earth’s Oldest Mineral Grains Suggest an Early Start for Life
    The hills of Western Australia are home to zircons nearly four-and-a-half billion years old. The tiny crystals may change our understanding of the newly-formed Earth.
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  • Earth's Oldest Mineral Grains Suggest an Early Start for Life
    The hills of Western Australia are home to zircons nearly four-and-a-half billion years old. The tiny crystals may change our understanding of the newly-formed Earth.
    more...