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STScI Astrobiology Lecture Series

How microbes promote fossilization and become fossilized

Presented by: Tanja Bosak (MIT)
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes   Broadcast date: March 02, 2018
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How to recognize signs of life in past sediments from Earth or other planets? Sedimentary record from the first 80% of Earth’s history preserves signatures of microbial life, but these biosignatures can often be difficult to recognize or interpret. Specifically, it is often unclear to what extent microbial metabolisms and microbial interactions with minerals and sediments promote fossilization in siliciclastic sediments. This talk will highlight some questions that arise from the record on the early Earth and address them by taphonomic experiments. The utility of these insights will be also discussed in the context of the search for life on early Mars.