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Clues to Life in the Mines of Murgul
Topic: Geology
The Mine of Murgul sounds like an ominous place in "The Lord of the Rings," a dark cavern filled with menacing orcs and trolls. But, in fact, this copper mine in Turkey may help shed light on life's origin.

Diamonds in the Rough
Topic: Geology
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.

Earth's Oldest Fossils Reverse Course
Topic: Geology
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.

File Compression: New Tool for Life Detection?
Topic: Geology
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.

Ancient Fossils - or Just Plain Rocks?
Topic: Geology
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 begun to choose sides.

When Did Life on Earth Begin? Ask a Rock
Topic: Geology
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.

Signs of Life in Acid-Washed Rocks
Topic: Geology
Clues to early terrestrial life may be entombed in ancient sedimentary rocks, if only acid vapor can unveil their fossil shapes.

Genomics Meets Geology
Topic: 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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