Experiments led by Nicolas Dauphas of the University of Chicago and Chicagos Field Museum have validated some controversial rocks from Greenland as the potential site for the earliest evidence of life on Earth.
"The samples that I have studied are extremely controversial," said Dauphas, an Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago and a Field Museum Associate. Some scientists have claimed that these rocks from Greenlands banded iron formations contain traces of life that push back the biological record of life on earth to 3.85 billion years ago. Others, however, dismiss the claim. They argue that the rocks originally existed in a molten state, a condition unsuitable for the preservation of evidence for life.
"My results show unambiguously that the rocks are sediment deposited at the bottom of an ocean," Dauphas said. "This is an important result. It puts the search for life on the early Earth on firm foundations."
Steve Koppes | EurekAlert!
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
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For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...
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