Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good thing the researchers didn't MISS these!

Scientists have discovered the oldest collection of "microbially induced sedimentary structures", or MISS, in Western Australia's Philbara region.  Apparently, this discovery is not only valuable in its own right, but could prove useful in the search for life on other planets.  From a post at io9:
In a discovery that could influence the search for life on other planets, an international team of researchers working in Western Australia's Pilbara region have uncovered evidence of complex microbial ecosystems dating back 3.5 billion years. That's 300 million years earlier than previous finds.
The relatively short article is accessible and interesting, noting for example, that NASA's Mars Rovers are programmed to search for MISS on the red planet.