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Life on Earth began 4.1 billion years ago, shows Study

Tue, Oct 20, 2015, 02:46 PM
New York, Oct 20: Upturning a long-held belief that early Earth was dry and desolate, researchers have now found evidence that life likely existed on our home plant at least 4.1 billion years ago -- 300 million years earlier than previous research suggested.

The discovery indicates that life may have begun shortly after the planet formed 4.54 billion years ago.

"Life on Earth may have started almost instantaneously," said co-author of the research Mark Harrison, professor of geochemistry at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA).

"With the right ingredients, life seems to form very quickly," Harrison noted.

The research suggests life in the universe could be abundant, he said.

The researchers, led by Elizabeth Bell, postdoctoral scholar in Harrison's Laboratory, studied immensely old zircons - minerals that can serve as time capsules - originally formed from molten rocks, or magmas, from Jack Hills in Western Australia.

The study was published in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Agency: IANS

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