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Environmental niches in which life first emerged and later evolved on the Earth have undergone dramatic changes in response to evolving tectonic/geochemical cycles and to biologic interventions, as well as increases in the Sun's luminosity of about 25 to 30 per cent over the Earth's history. It has been inferred that the greenhouse effect of atmospheric(More)
DNA molecules are continuously released through decomposition of organic matter and are ubiquitous in most environments. Such DNA becomes fragmented and damaged (often <100 bp) and may persist in the environment for more than half a million years. Fragmented DNA is recognized as nutrient source for microbes, but not as potential substrate for bacterial(More)
The first indisputable evidence for very early differentiation of the silicate Earth came from the extinct (146)Sm-(142)Nd chronometer. (142)Nd excesses measured in 3.7-billion-year (Gyr)-old rocks from Isua (southwest Greenland) relative to modern terrestrial samples imply their derivation from a depleted mantle formed in the Hadean eon (about 4,570-4,000(More)
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