Researchers from the University of Western Australia and Oxford say much debated markings in Australian rock formations are in fact 3.4 billion year old bacterial fossils. The markings were discovered nearly a decade ago and there has been disagreement in the scientific community as to whether they are fossils or the result of inert chemical reactions. The U of WA and Oxford researchers say state of the art technology confirms that they are bacterial fossils. This would make them the oldest fossils known to science. The associated bacteria would have lived on an Earth that had no oxygen and, according to the researchers, would probably have metabolized sulphur. In that they would have survived in an oxygen free environment their existence lends credibility to the proposition that microbiological life has been supported on Mars. The findings have been published in the journal, Nature Geoscience.

 

http://news.discovery.com/space/microfossil-bacteria-oldest-earth-1... 

Tags: Bacteria, Fossils, Jubinsky

Views: 80

Replies to This Discussion

Fine progress in scientific research such as this is always good to hear. Thanks for posting, John

The associated bacteria would have lived on an Earth that had no oxygen and, according to the researchers, would probably have metabolized sulphur. In that they would have survived in an oxygen free environment their existence lends credibility to the proposition that microbiological life has been supported on Mars.

 

We already know that anaerobic bacteria can exist in environments without oxygen, they exist right now inside of us!  I don't know how fossils of something we already knew existed, just a little older than we knew about, would say anything about life on Mars.  Then again, this is just more of that fine science reporting from those sources like Discovery *facepalm*

They are also ignoring the part where Mars has almost no atmosphere, and no magnetic field so it is constantly dosed with extremely high levels of radiation.  Find me a bacteria that flourishes in vacuum and hard radiation and then we'll talk about life on Mars.

Cool find, but the Mars bit is just senseless hype.

Tenuous connections?

A human mind (natural intelligence) has no problem with them and they lead to all kinds of useful and non-useful things.

A computer (artificial intelligence) has a serious problem with them. Try telling a computer how to make them AND recognize those that may lead to something...or to anything.

 

just a little older than we knew about: Very interesting perspective.

 

I don't think anybody implied that "lending credibility" meant "strongly suggests".


Incidentally, that's a fascinating icon you have.

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