2.5 billion-year-old fossils of bacteria that predate the formation of oxygen

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by paddoboy, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Geologist uncovers 2.5 billion-year-old fossils of bacteria that predate the formation of oxygen
    November 29, 2016 by Melanie Schefft

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    A microscopic image of 2.5 billion-year-old sulfur-oxidizing bacterium. Credit: Andrew Czaja, UC assistant professor of geology
    Somewhere between Earth's creation and where we are today, scientists have demonstrated that some early life forms existed just fine without any oxygen.

    While researchers proclaim the first half of our 4.5 billion-year-old planet's life as an important time for the development and evolution of early bacteria, evidence for these life forms remains sparse including how they survived at a time when oxygen levels in the atmosphere were less than one-thousandth of one percent of what they are today.

    Recent geology research from the University of Cincinnati presents new evidence for bacteria found fossilized in two separate locations in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

    "These are the oldest reported fossil sulfur bacteria to date," says Andrew Czaja, UC assistant professor of geology. "And this discovery is helping us reveal a diversity of life and ecosystems that existed just prior to the Great Oxidation Event, a time of major atmospheric evolution."



    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-geologist-uncovers-billion-year-old-fossils-bacteria.html#jCp
     
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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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  5. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    I believe it is known anaerobic life was before aerobic come into existence
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Would this suggest that Black Smokers may have spawned the first living organisms? As far as I know all life around BS is sulphur based and several deep sea dwellers of higher order animals have green or blue blood.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  8. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Pardon what does BS means
     
  9. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    BS means what ever two words beginning with B and S mean.

    Frequently BS has come to be associated with Bull and Shit but in this case the two words can be blended into Bullshit.

    However in the context here I would humbly suggest BS is shorthand for Black Smokers mentioned a few words previously.
     
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  10. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Ok Black Smoker, I assume the smoke to be black it have to be some particulate material , is it known what is the composition , is it some sulfide compound normally the metallic are black .
     
  11. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure what causes the colouration. The few short videos I have seen the vented materials range from light grey to black.
     
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Timojin seems to be correct. The Wiki article on hydrothermal vents includes the following passage:

    "A black smoker or sea vent is a type of hydrothermal vent found on the seabed, typically in the abyssal and hadal zones. They appear as black, chimney-like structures that emit a cloud of black material. Black smokers typically emit particles with high levels of sulfur-bearing minerals, or sulfides. Black smokers are formed in fields hundreds of meters wide when superheated water from below Earth's crust comes through the ocean floor. This water is rich in dissolved minerals from the crust, most notably sulfides. When it comes in contact with cold ocean water, many minerals precipitate, forming a black, chimney-like structure around each vent. The deposited metal sulfides can become massive sulfide ore deposits in time."

    So sulphides are apparently responsible. In fact, I think the same phenomenon may be apparent in anoxic environments where sulphur-reducing bacteria predominate, such as the bottoms of ponds with decaying leaves in, etc. They are always very black, at least.
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Speaking of early life forms, this may be of interest:

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    http://ideas.ted.com/deep-in-an-ancient-cave-an-unexpected-form-of-life/

    Turns out we don't have pre-historic islands, we have pre-historic caves.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  14. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016

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