Life on Earth may have developed below rather than above ground, reveal scientists
How life on Earth came into existence is still one of the greatest mysteries in science but new research into the deep biosphere indicates that the first replicating life-forms on the planet may have originated deep underground rather than, as commonly believed, on the surface.
Scientists have now discovered microbes living and reproducing as deep as 5km (3.1 miles) below ground and studies have shown that they are likely to have survived in complete isolation from the surface biosphere for millions and perhaps even billions of years.
One of the latest studies into the deep biosphere has found that these microbes form a distinct subsurface community of genetically similar individuals despite living on opposite sides of the world. This global similarity of such an isolated life-form suggests that they may have evolved directly from a common ancestor that lived as long ago at the period when life on earth originated, some 3.5 billion years ago.
An increasing number of researchers believe that life could have first got going in the tiny cracks of underground rocks, fuelled not by the energy of sunlight but by chemical fuel in the form of hydrogen and methane which can be produced in certain types of rock under high temperatures and pressures.
The latest discovery of a closely-related, global community of microbes in the deep biosphere lends further support to the idea that life originated not in the primordial soup of surface lakes and seas, but in the tiny water-filled fissures found in underground rock, said Matt Schrenk of Michigan State University.
Two years ago we had scant idea about what microbes are present in subsurface rocks or what they eat. Since then a number of studies have vastly expanded that database, Dr Schrenk said.
Were getting this emerging picture not only of what sort of organisms are found in these systems but some consistency between sites globally were seeing the same types of organisms everywhere we look, he said.
The study, presented this week to the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, compared DNA sequences of hydrogen-eating microbes extracted from rock fractures deep below North America, Europe, South Africa and Japan. To their surprise, the scientists found that they were closer than 97 per cent similar making them virtually the same species, Dr Schrenk said.
It is easy to understand how birds or fish might be similar oceans apart, but it challenges the imagination to think of nearly identical microbes 16,000km apart from each other in the cracks of hard rock at extreme depths, pressures and temperatures, he said.
Read the full article at: alternews.co.uk
Has Mars Preserved Evidence of Ancient Life? Groundbreaking New Look at the 1976 Viking Mission Findings
Was the Bible right? All life on earth may have come from clay
Are we too focused on searching for a particular kind of alien life?
Experiment to Show Comets Brought Life To Earth
Life on earth began on Mars
Latest News from our Front Page
Sweden to give over 8 million euros to Turkey for "refugee deal" - Europe to give three billion euros total
Prime Minister Stefan LĂ¶fven announced on Sunday that Sweden would contribute to a joint action plan agreed by nine EU nations designed to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey.
The deal came after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a surprise summit in Brussels involving the leaders of nine countries including Sweden, France and the UK.
The European ...
Swedish woman raped by "refugee" refuses to report it because she feels sorry for him
Victim sympathized with rapist's "difficult situation"
A Swedish woman who was raped by an Iraqi ârefugeeâ on a train initially refused to report the incident to police because she âfelt sorryâ for her attacker.
The incident occurred on a night train between UmeĂ„ and Sundsvall back in October. The Iraqi refugee was traveling back to Sweden because he was unhappy with the ...
ISIS Oil Trade Full Frontal: "Raqqa's Rockefellers," Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection
"Effectively, we have been financially discriminated against for a long time. By early 2014, when we did not receive the budget, we decided we need to start thinking about independent oil salesâ -- Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistanâs minister for natural resources
In June of 2014, the SCF Altai (an oil tanker) arrived at Ashkelon port. Hours later, the first shipment of Kurdish ...
Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as 'threat to Russian national security'
The Russian Prosecutor Generalâs Office has recognized George Sorosâs Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.
In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russiaâs ...
Israeli Colonel Caught with Islamic State (IS) Pants Down
This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was âcaught with IS pants down.â By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called ISâor Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preferenceâterrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence ...
|More News » |