table of contents table of contents

Life may have been present on Earth from about 3.8 Ga or earlier.

Home » Biology Articles » Astrobiology » Tracking the record of early life » Scope of research and methodology

Scope of research and methodology
- Tracking the record of early life

The goal of our research on Archean and Proterozoic microfossils from fine-grained sediments is to understand the mechanisms and environmental context of biospheric evolution on the early Earth by identifying the fossils (morphological, ultrastructural or chemical) of early prokaryotes and eukaryotes, determining their biological affinities and/or cellular innovations, and examining their patterns of evolution throughout intervals of environmental change. This approach uses a combination of sedimentary geology, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDEX) in the SEM, microscopy (transmitted light, scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy) and microchemistry (Micro-FTIR spectroscopy, Laser micro-Raman spectroscopy, laser micro-pyrolysis-GC/MS). Our collaborative research also includes the characterization of resistant biopolymers and cellular structures in a range of living prokaryotes, protists, and fungi by combining microscopy and microchemistry, in order to make comparisons with the same analyses of Proterozoic and Archean microfossils.

rating: 2.40 from 10 votes | updated on: 9 Nov 2007 | views: 14113 |

Rate article: