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Early life and its implications for astrobiology : a case study from Bitter Springs Chert, Australia

Sigeman, Hanna LU (2013) In Dissertations in Geology at Lund University GEOL01 20131
Department of Geology
Abstract
Early life research faces additional challenges than those of the study of later life forms. Due to the de-materialization of the earliest rocks, valuable information about the early Earth is forever lost. Furthermore, early life was small and morphologically basic, effectuating abiotic pseudofossils to infiltrate the fossil record. A central theme is the close connection early life research share with astrobiology, manifested by the notion that early terre-strial life research should be conducted with as much vigilance as potential fossil findings from a remote planet. Both fields benefit from a broad-minded approach as the basic building blocks of life, previously thought to be pre-sent in all life forms, might have room for... (More)
Early life research faces additional challenges than those of the study of later life forms. Due to the de-materialization of the earliest rocks, valuable information about the early Earth is forever lost. Furthermore, early life was small and morphologically basic, effectuating abiotic pseudofossils to infiltrate the fossil record. A central theme is the close connection early life research share with astrobiology, manifested by the notion that early terre-strial life research should be conducted with as much vigilance as potential fossil findings from a remote planet. Both fields benefit from a broad-minded approach as the basic building blocks of life, previously thought to be pre-sent in all life forms, might have room for interchangability. Therefore, the biomarkers traditionally searched for might not reveal the full story of life. Petrography, XRF, SEM and FTIR was applied to rocks from Bitter Springs Formation, Australia, in hope to detect biogenic material. Hydrocarbons were detected in one of the samples thro-ugh FTIR analysis, which is a strong indicator for biogenicity. Many structures were found that are most probably bacterial fossils and oncoid structures. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Forskning kring tidigt liv möter svårigheter utöver de som forskning kring senare liv ställs inför. På grund av att de tidigaste bergarterna inte finns bevarade har viktig information om jordens tidiga förhållanden för evigt gått förlorad. Dessutom var de tidigaste livsformerna små och morfologiskt enkla, vilket betyder att abiotiska pseudofossil lätt kan infiltrera fossilarkivet. Ett centralt tema är den nära kopplingen mellan forskning kring tidigt liv och astrobiologi, delvis på grund av att tidigt liv på jorden måste undersökas med samma hårda krav som vi skulle ställa på potentiella fossil från andra planeter. Båda forskningsfälten gagnas av vidsynthet då det är möjligt att de byggstenar vi traditionellt sett kopplat till livsformer... (More)
Forskning kring tidigt liv möter svårigheter utöver de som forskning kring senare liv ställs inför. På grund av att de tidigaste bergarterna inte finns bevarade har viktig information om jordens tidiga förhållanden för evigt gått förlorad. Dessutom var de tidigaste livsformerna små och morfologiskt enkla, vilket betyder att abiotiska pseudofossil lätt kan infiltrera fossilarkivet. Ett centralt tema är den nära kopplingen mellan forskning kring tidigt liv och astrobiologi, delvis på grund av att tidigt liv på jorden måste undersökas med samma hårda krav som vi skulle ställa på potentiella fossil från andra planeter. Båda forskningsfälten gagnas av vidsynthet då det är möjligt att de byggstenar vi traditionellt sett kopplat till livsformer kan bytas ut mot andra ämnen. Det är därför möjligt att sökandet efter traditionella biomarkörer inte räcker till för att klarlägga livets fulla historia. Petrografiska undersökningar, XRF, SEM och FTIR applicerades på stuffer från Bitter Springs Formation, Australien, för att se ifall deinnehöll biologiskt material. Kolväten hittades genom FTIR-analys, vilket är en stark bioindikator. Flera strukturer
hittades som högst troligtvis är fossila bakterier och oncoider. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Sigeman, Hanna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Forskning kring tidigt liv och dess implikationer för astrobiologi : en fallstudie från Bitter Springs Chert, Australien
course
GEOL01 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
FTIR, XRF, SEM, microfossil, stromatolites, Amadeus Basin, Bitter Springs, origin of life, microorganisms, exobiology, early life, astrobiology, tidigt liv, astrobiologi, exobiologi, mikroorganismer, livets ursprung, stromatoliter, mikrofossil
publication/series
Dissertations in Geology at Lund University
report number
346
language
English
id
3858157
date added to LUP
2013-06-20 14:22:28
date last changed
2015-09-02 04:13:27
@misc{3858157,
  abstract     = {Early life research faces additional challenges than those of the study of later life forms. Due to the de-materialization of the earliest rocks, valuable information about the early Earth is forever lost. Furthermore, early life was small and morphologically basic, effectuating abiotic pseudofossils to infiltrate the fossil record. A central theme is the close connection early life research share with astrobiology, manifested by the notion that early terre-strial life research should be conducted with as much vigilance as potential fossil findings from a remote planet. Both fields benefit from a broad-minded approach as the basic building blocks of life, previously thought to be pre-sent in all life forms, might have room for interchangability. Therefore, the biomarkers traditionally searched for might not reveal the full story of life. Petrography, XRF, SEM and FTIR was applied to rocks from Bitter Springs Formation, Australia, in hope to detect biogenic material. Hydrocarbons were detected in one of the samples thro-ugh FTIR analysis, which is a strong indicator for biogenicity. Many structures were found that are most probably bacterial fossils and oncoid structures.},
  author       = {Sigeman, Hanna},
  keyword      = {FTIR,XRF,SEM,microfossil,stromatolites,Amadeus Basin,Bitter Springs,origin of life,microorganisms,exobiology,early life,astrobiology,tidigt liv,astrobiologi,exobiologi,mikroorganismer,livets ursprung,stromatoliter,mikrofossil},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Dissertations in Geology at Lund University},
  title        = {Early life and its implications for astrobiology : a case study from Bitter Springs Chert, Australia},
  year         = {2013},
}