HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Learning to live with oxygen on early Earth

Washington, D.C. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution and Penn State University* have discovered evidence showing that microbes adapted to living with oxygen 2.72 billion years ago, at least 300 million years before the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere. The finding is the first concrete validation of a long-held hypothesis that oxygen was being produced and consumed by that time and that the transition to an oxygenated atmosphere was long term. The results are published in the on-line early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, to appear the week of October 16th.

It is generally believed that before 2.4 billion years ago, Earth's atmosphere was essentially devoid of oxygen. Exactly when and how oxygen-producing photosynthesis evolved and began fueling the atmosphere with the gas that much of life depends on has been hotly debated for some time. Plants, algae, and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) emit oxygen as a waste product of photosynthesis--the process by which sugar, essential for nutrition, is made from light, water, and carbon dioxide.

"Our evidence points to the likelihood that Earth was peppered with small 'oases' of shallow-water, oxygen-producing, photosynthetic microbes around 2.7 billion years ago," stated lead author Jennifer Eigenbrode of Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory, who collected the data while pursuing her Ph.D. at Penn State. "Over time these oases must have expanded, eventually enriching the atmosphere with oxygen. Our data record this transition."

The researchers discovered changes in fossil isotopes of the life-essential element carbon in a 150 million-year section of rock that included shallow and deepwater sediments from the late Archean period (the Archean lasted from 3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago) in Hamersley Province in Western Australia. Isotopes are different forms of an element's atoms. The relative proportions of carbon and other isotopes in organic matter depend on c
'"/>

Contact: Jennifer Eigenbrode
j.eigenbrode@gl.ciw.edu
202-478-8981
Carnegie Institution
16-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Learning to evolve: With a little help from my ancestors
2. Learning a second language -- Is it all in your head?
3. Protein pulling -- Learning how proteins fold by pulling them apart
4. Learning how to help migrating swans find forage
5. Learning during sleep?
6. Learning how nature splits water
7. Learning global solutions to local problems
8. Learning the lessons of the worlds oldest ecological experiment
9. Learning the language of DNA
10. SNM Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment program modules approved by ABNM, ABR for CME credit
11. Learning to love bacteria: Stanford scientist highlights bugs benefits

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio ... findings of Neihulizumab, a biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease ... hemato-oncologist Dr. Paul J Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... Catalent, a ... purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, located in the Shiga prefecture ... facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility will provide customers with flexible ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year contract ... (Multiclonics®), to support their translational and clinical research strategy to discover and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2020)... ... May 14, 2020 , ... This new service offers clients a way ... questions answered quickly as the need arises. Lachman’s OnCall SMEs have extensive knowledge of ... rates. , Lachman OnCall™ SMEs are available normal business hours Monday through Friday ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... ... May 12, 2020 , ... DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences ... for all personal care ingredients in Russia and Belarus. Beginning May 1, Interdisp ... for personal care. , The GENENCARE®OSMS product line contains a range ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... ... May 13, 2020 , ... ... Future Lab: Optimizing Workflows in the Life Science Lab . The comprehensive ... their lab, from water purification and liquid handling to contamination control. , The ...
(Date:5/9/2020)... ... May 08, 2020 , ... Worldwide Business with kathy ireland® ... program on Sunday, May 10, 2020 and Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 8:00pm ET ... interviews will spotlight key executives from Techolution and Bravado Pharmaceuticals . ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: