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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