Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Finding the Oldest Life on Earth and When It Began - Science

The theme of the article is about pushing the origins of life even earlier in time and by about four hundred million years.  This time the primary specimen is red algae which probably excites you not at all but the intrigue here is that it was anything at all.  Naturally, if you're looking for the beginning of life, you will find it on Yahoo:  World's oldest plant fossil discovered in India.

Note:  this wasn't the first life but the first of this kind.

I found a second reference which is done much better by Scientific American:  Complex Life Could Be Vastly Older Than Thought

Ordinarily, I would see that news and think, yep, that's interesting and move along but the way they found the bugs is some of the most unusual Sherlock Holmes technology I ever heard.  I may be an addlepated ganja monkey but I remember university fairly well and there was nothing of this nature extant at the time.

Dig this ...

The presumed red algae lie embedded in fossil mats of cyanobacteria, called stromatolites, in 1.6 billion-year-old Indian phosphorite.

The research group was able to look inside the algae with the help of synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy.  - Yahoo

Whoa, daddy.  They brought the Buck Rogers on this one.  Let your mind spin about trying to figure out what such a device does but I'll defer as my brain might explode.

Their wizard technique allows them to look inside a fossil and then look inside whatever is inside that.  We have definitely reached the Jetsons stage with this one given the thing they do is clearly impossible.

Cyanobacteria - Unknown photographer

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