How long have you believed there is life in the Earth? According to some scientists, it may have appeared much earlier than some previous studies predicted: there are at least 3.75 billion years. A finding published in the journal science advanceswhich analyzed filaments possibly left by bacteria in rocks, not only indicates a condition of existence on our planet, but may also open hypotheses for life in others in the universe due to the speed of its emergence.
The group of experts responsible for the studies analyzed a fist-sized rock estimated to be between 3.75 and 4.28 billion years old, cut it into pieces measuring 100 microns – equivalent to a thousandth of a millimeter – and noticed the signs. structural material created by bacteria.
“All these structures are very unique, and this indicates a biological, not chemical, origin, which reinforces the possibility of microbes present in the analyzed material”, highlighted the authors of the research, as reported by Correio Braziliense.
The stone was found in the region called the Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt in Quebec, Canada. “The region is an ancient hydrothermal vent system, where cracks in the seafloor let iron heated by Earth’s magma through,” they explained of the location.
Discovery reinforces thesis of life beyond Earth
The analyzed materials that indicated the sign of early life were a kind of stem – full of branches, a series of distorted spheres and tubes. According to Dominic Papineau, a researcher at University College London and one of the members of the research group, there are similarities between the stem and an ordinary tree and the speed with which microorganisms emerged after the formation of the Earth – around 300 million years later. – may be promising for the hypothesis of life on other planets.
“In geological terms, this is fast. About one revolution of the Sun around the galaxy,” he told the British newspaper The Guardian. “[Isso] is very important because it tells us that it takes very little time for life to emerge on a planetary surface.”
“Very quickly after the Earth formed, there was microbial life, which probably fed on iron and sulfur in these hydrothermal vents. If life is relatively quick to emerge, given the right conditions, that increases the chance that life exists elsewhere.” planets.”
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In addition to their origin, the researchers also discovered evidence of how the bacteria in these rocks obtained energy, one of which was the presence of mineralized chemical by-products – used by microorganisms that live on iron, light, sulfur and carbon dioxide to carry out photosynthesis.
The fossils with signs of life on Earth that held the title of oldest before the discovery were found in Western Australia and are approximately 3.46 billion years old, that is, 290 million ‘younger’ than those in Canada, now the oldest materials on the planet.
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Source: Correio Braziliense