Volume 95 Issue 13 | p. 6 | News of The Week
Issue Date: March 27, 2017 | Web Date: March 21, 2017

Geochemical precipitates may fool fossil hunters

Inorganic crystals can mimic biofossils, but they’re formed without biological help
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: geochemistry, biomorphs, fossils

Geochemists searching for evidence of ancient life often look to collections of round, twisted, and loopy mineral precipitates they find in soil or water samples as possible microbial fossils.

A team led by Juan Manuel García-Ruiz at the Spanish Higher Council of Scientific Research and the University of Granada and Oliver Steinbock at Florida State University, however, have now made these types of inorganic structures without the help of biology (Sci. . . .

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