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The 3.5–3.2 Ga old volcano-sedimentary succession of the Barberton greenstone belt (South Africa) is characterized by lithological units that are repeated in a regular manner. Komatiitic, basaltic, and dacitic volcanic and volcaniclastic sequences are capped by zones of silica enrichment,...
The microbial diversity of Kali chimney plumes, part of a hydrothermal vent field in the Rodriguez Triple Junction, Indian Ocean (depth approximately 2,240 m), was examined in an attempt to discover “extremotolerant” microorganisms that have evolved unique resistance capabilities to this...
Current proposals for the characterization of extrasolar terrestrial planets rest primarily on the use of spectroscopic techniques. While spectroscopy is effective in detecting the gaseous components of a planet's atmosphere, it provides no way of detecting the presence of liquid water, the...
We developed a numerical model to assess the lithoautotrophic habitability of Mars based on metabolic energy, nutrients, water availability, and temperature. Available metabolic energy and nutrient sources were based on a laboratory-produced Mars-analog inorganic chemistry. For this specific...
Antarctic permafrost soils have not received as much geocryological and biological study as has been devoted to the ice sheet, though the permafrost is more stable and older and inhabited by more microbes. This makes these soils potentially more informative and a more significant microbial...
Morphological, compositional, and biological evidence indicates the presence of numerous well-developed microbial hyphae structures distributed within four different sample splits of the Nakhla meteorite obtained from the British Museum (allocation BM1913,25). By examining depth profiles of the...
The biologic origin of objects with microbe-like morphologies from the oldest preserved terrestrial sedimentary rocks remains a matter of controversy. Their biogenicity has been questioned, as well as the claim that they are convincing evidence of early life. Though minerals with microbe-like...
Chiral symmetry breaking occurs when a physical or chemical process spontaneously generates a large excess of one of the two enantiomers—left-handed (L) or right-handed (D)––with no preference as to which of the two enantiomers is produced. From the viewpoint of energy, these two...
Understanding the abiotic fixation of nitrogen is critical to understanding planetary evolution and the potential origin of life on terrestrial planets. Nitrogen, an essential biochemical element, is certainly necessary for life as we know it to arise. The loss of atmospheric nitrogen can result...
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