NAI Director's Seminar Series - streamed online 11am PST/2pmEST

Event Details

NAI Director's Seminar Series - streamed online 11am PST/2pmEST

Time: May 19, 2014 from 11am to 12pm
Location: http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nai_directors_seminar/
Website or Map: https://astrobiology.nasa.gov…
Event Type: webinar
Organized By: Mrinalini Nikrad
Latest Activity: May 16, 2014

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Event Description

Dan Rothman from MIT - 

Microbial Burst Accompanying Earth's Greatest Extinction

 Roughly 252 million years ago, the end-Permian extinction resulted in the greatest loss of life in the fossil record. The cause remains mysterious, but decades of research indicate that a strong perturbation of the global carbon cycle occurs at the extinction's peak. This talk addresses three aspects of this disruption.

First, we show that geochemical signals indicate super-exponential growth of the marine inorganic carbon reservoir, coincident with the extinction and consistent with the expansion of a new microbial metabolic pathway. Second, we show that the efficient pathway via which members of the microbial genus Methanosarcina convert acetate to methane emerged at a time statistically indistinguishable from the extinction. Finally, we show that nickel concentrations in South China sediments increased sharply at the extinction, probably as a consequence of massive Siberian volcanism, enabling a methanogenic expansion by removal of nickel limitation. Collectively, these results are consistent with the instigation of Earth's greatest mass extinction by a specific microbial innovation. 

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What do biosignatures tell us

Started by Ken Jones in SAGANet Community Jul 11. 0 Replies

Lately there has been a lot of talk about biosignatures. I've even come across articles where they talk about using biosignatures to look for life beyond earth in the rocks here on earth by searching for biosignatures of past life in rocks. I'm just…Continue

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