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:
TAG: Learning live with oxygen early Earth

(Date:8/28/2014)... million kilometres of new roads will be built worldwide ... Earth,s last wildernesses, where they bring an influx of ... an ambitious study has created a ,global roadmap, for ... balance the competing demands of development and environmental protection. ... that estimates that natural importance of ecosystems and a ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... to alert the world to Global Warming, has called ... stored underground. He says that Carbon Capture, combined with ... to avoid global warming getting out of control over ... York) made the call during his presentation to the ... are meeting to discuss Carbon Capture and Storage. ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have assigned a ... of predatory arthropods. These animals lived in shallow ... related forms found in Jurassic strata. , ... shallow marine habitat and were fossilized some 435 ... denizens of the Silurian seas although they ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Study shows where on the planet new roads should and should not go 2Study shows where on the planet new roads should and should not go 3Global warming pioneer calls for CO2 to be taken from atmosphere and stored underground 2Paleontology: Oldest representative of a weird arthropod group 2
(Date:8/28/2014)... , Aug. 28, 2014  Next month, executives from clinical ... key industry events beginning with Patient-Centered Clinical Trials 2014 ... Boston , September 4-5. Patient recruitment experts ... Aaron Fleishman will share insights on the benefits ... variety of tactics – from media to mobile apps – ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... 28, 2014  Armetheon, Inc. ( www.armetheon.com ), ... to late-stage cardiovascular drug candidates, today announced that ... round of financing. The Series A round was ... with participation from investors that included Atheneos Capital ... Larry Hsu , the founder of Impax ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... 28, 2014 A new market ... world is available from Strategic Consulting, Inc., the ... Industrial Microbiology Market Review, Fourth Edition: Global Review ... (IMMR—4) tracks and compares microbiology test volumes, market ... Europe and Asia, and forecasts future volumes and ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... August 28, 2014 Supplementing their ... a promotion for Eppendorf Safe Lock Centrifuge ... purchase the highest quality tubes at an affordable ... for customers doing chemical, medical, pharmaceutical, and life ... are not regularly able to afford Eppendorf products. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:BBK Worldwide Leads Sessions at Key September Events 2Armetheon Completes $7.0 Million Series A Financing 2Armetheon Completes $7.0 Million Series A Financing 32 Billion Industrial Microbiology Tests Conducted for Product Quality and Safety Worldwide 22 Billion Industrial Microbiology Tests Conducted for Product Quality and Safety Worldwide 3Eppendorf Safe Lock Centrifuge Tube Promotion Now Available at Major Pipette Distributor Pipette.com 2Eppendorf Safe Lock Centrifuge Tube Promotion Now Available at Major Pipette Distributor Pipette.com 3
Cached News: