Geology

  • 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.
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  • Genomics Meets Geology
    Chemist Steven A. Benner and his colleagues are combining chemistry, geological history and paleontology in an approach aimed at better understanding of life on Earth.
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  • Did Tectonics Get an Early Start?
    A recent discovery near the Great Wall in China adds new support to the theory that plate tectonics began very early in the Earth's history.
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