Volume 93 Issue 48 | pp. 40-41
Issue Date: December 7, 2015

If These Researchers Are Right, Life On Earth Started Earlier Than Once Thought

Scientists debate whether a zircon specimen from the Australian Outback contains evidence for life on Earth as early as 4.1 billion years ago
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Environmental SCENE
Keywords: geochemistry, origin of life, zircon, isotope chemistry

Even though it takes up no more space than Abraham Lincoln’s eye occupies on a U.S. penny, an ancient zircon grain plucked from the Australian Outback more than 30 years ago has recently stirred fervent debate among geochemists.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, analyzed the 4.1 billion-year-old gem and found inside what they believe could be the oldest known chemical evidence of life on Earth: . . .

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