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See how it all began (but please don't visit!) Answered

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A news article on Nature today reports a find of living, growing stromatolites in an Andean saline lake (first image). Stromatolites are layered growths of cyanobacteria (photosynthesizing algae), and constitute some of the oldest (3.5 Gya!) macroscopic fossils known (second image).

Update: My writeup above might be a bit misleading. This is not the only known stromatolite colony; Shark Bay, Australia, is the most well known, and there are a few in South Africa. This discovery is important both because of the altitude, and because it's an inland site without contamination.

Note: If you don't understand some of the words above, open a new browser window, type "wikipedia" in the search bar, then cut and paste the big words into Wikipedia.

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KentsOkay (author)2009-09-17

TIGHT Wold be far more interesting found on Mars, but I'll take my microscopic ancestors any way they come...

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Goodhart (author)KentsOkay2009-09-18

It is unlikely that any organic material will be found on Mars. More can be found on such planets as Jupiter and Saturn.

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KentsOkay (author)Goodhart2009-09-18

I've got my 50 cents on europa....

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skunkbait (author)KentsOkay2009-09-18

There's all kinds of weird creatures in Europe, like for instance- Kiteman! Oh, EUROPA...... I get it.

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skunkbait (author)KentsOkay2009-09-19

I will politely forego all of the "Uranus" jokes.....

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KentsOkay (author)skunkbait2009-09-20

You missed out - In the IRC room Goodhart, myself, yokunza, and others where puning on that...

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Goodhart (author)KentsOkay2009-09-20

Yes, but that is somewhat private whereas this is a more public forum ;-)

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Goodhart (author)KentsOkay2009-09-19

You may have Europa. I'm investing in Titan which, for a moon, has a significant atmosphere, and despite the poisonous gases in that atmosphere, it also contains a significant amount of N2. Which, in itself, is significant.

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KentsOkay (author)Goodhart2009-09-19

Yeah i knew one of Jupe's moon's had N2 i just couldnt think of which off the top of my head...

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Goodhart (author)KentsOkay2009-09-20

It is fully loaded with an organic atmosphere

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Goodhart (author)KentsOkay2009-09-20

Well, the organic soup is not really breathable atmosphere, being that it contains parts of hydrogen cyanide, cyanocetylene butadiene, proplyene, acetylene, ethane, & methane in addition to the nitrogen. The Cassini space probe observed evidence of numerous lakes of hydrocarbons on Titan.

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lemonie (author)2009-09-17
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Goodhart (author)lemonie2009-09-19

Dr. in Biological Sciences

Investigador Asistente - CONICET Assistant Investigator - CONICET
Lugar de Trabajo: PROIMI, Tucumán Workplace: PROIMI, Tucumán
mefarias2001@yahoo.com.ar / mefarias@proimi.org.ar

Especialidad
Specialty

Microbiología
Microbiology

Ambientes extremos - Radiación
Ultravioleta Extreme environments - Ultraviolet Radiation

Arsénico
Arsenic

Antibióticos
Antibiotics

Ecología de plasmidos
Ecology of plasmid

Lineas de Investigación
Research Lines

Resistencia a Radiación
Ultravioleta

en bacterias extremófilas
Ultraviolet Radiation resistance in bacteria extremophile

Resistencia a Arsénico en bacterias ambientales
Arsenic resistance in environmental bacteria

Resistencia a Antibióticos en bacterias ambientales
Antibiotic resistance in environmental bacteria

Biodiversidad en ambientes extremos
Biodiversity in extreme environments...

?

for the complete page - translated by Google

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kelseymh (author)2009-09-17

I should edit this a bit to point out that there are two other locations in the world with living stromatolites (South Africa, and Shark Bay, Australia). This location is unique for it's altitude and unexpectedness.

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