Iron-sulfur minerals bear witness to earliest life on earth

Electron microscope image of the spherical pyrite crystals formed in experiments
Electron microscope image of the spherical pyrite crystals formed in experiments with biological magnetite. The diameter of the structures is about five micrometers (thousandths of a millimeter).
A team of researchers at the Universities of Tübingen and Göttingen has found that certain minerals with characteristic shapes could indicate the activity of bacteria in hydrothermal vents - or black smokers - in the deep ocean several billion years ago. This represents a major step in our understanding of the origin of life. The study, led by Eric Runge and Professor Jan-Peter Duda (now both at the University of Göttingen) and Professor Andreas Kappler and Muammar Mansor, geomicrobiologists at the University of Tübingen, has been published in the latest edition of

The geological record shows that hot springs have existed on our planet for at least 3.77 billion years. ...
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