Discovery of the century. Scientists Unravel the Mystery of the Origin of Life Using 1.75 Billion-Year-Old Fossils
January 6, 18:40 Share:
Bacteria with which the discovery was made (Photo: DEMOULIN, LARA ET. AL.)
Bacterial fossils discovered in Australia and Canada provide ancient evidence of oxygenic photosynthetic structures, pushing the time frame for the origin of photosynthesis back 1.2 billion years.
A study conducted by scientists revealed that fossilized bacteria have the ability to convert sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into energy and oxygen.. The discovery provides a unique perspective on the Great Oxygenation Event, which altered Earth's atmosphere and oceans and enabled the development of complex life.
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Cyanobacteria, believed to be one of the first organisms to carry out oxygenic photosynthesis, played a key role in filling the atmosphere with oxygen. These organisms, using thylakoid membranes within their bodies, produced oxygen, leading to the Great Oxygenation Event.
Emmanuel Javot from the University of Liège emphasized that the production of oxygen by cyanobacteria has significantly changed the chemistry of the Earth and the evolution of the biosphere. Scientists hope this new find will help better understand how complex life evolved on our planet.
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Robert Blankenship, an expert on the origin and evolution of photosynthesis, noted that the complex mechanism of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria is an improved process close to modern. This discovery opens new horizons in the study of the evolution of life on Earth and helps science search for similar processes on other planets.
Many questions remain unanswered, including the chronology of the development of oxygenic photosynthesis and its relationship to the Great Oxygenation Event. Further analysis of old microfossils could contribute to unlocking these mysteries and provide new clues to the origins of life on Earth.