Biomarkers and microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites

Richard B. Hoover, Gregory Jerman, Alexei Yu Rozanov, Paul Davies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the past six years, we have conducted extensive scanning electron and optical microscopy investigations and x-ray analysis to determine the morphology, life cycle processes, and elemental distributions in living and fossil cyanobacteria, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and algae sampled from terrestrial environments relevant to Astrobiology. Biominerals, pseudomorphs and microfossils have been studied for diverse microbial groups in various states of preservation in many types of rocks (e.g., oil shales, graphites, shungites, bauxites, limestones, pyrites, phosphorites, and hydrothermal vent chimneys). Results of these studies have been applied to the search for biosignatures in carbonaceous chondrites, stony, and nickel iron meteorites. We review important biomarkers found in terrestrial rocks and meteorites and present additional evidence for the existence of indigenous bacterial microfossils in-situ in freshly fractured surfaces of the Murchison, Rainbow and Tagish Lake carbonaceous meteorites. We provide secondary and backscatter electron images and spectral data obtained with Field Emission and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopes of biominerals and microfossils. We discuss techniques for discriminating indigenous microfossils from recent terrestrial contaminants. Images are provided of framboidal magnetites in oil shales and meteorites and images and 2D x-ray maps are shown of bacterial microfossils embedded in the mineral matrix of the Murchison, Rainbow and Tagish Lake Carbonaceous Meteorites. These microfossils exhibit characteristics that preclude their interpretation as post-arrival contaminants and we interpret them as indigenous biogenic remains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsR.B. Hoover, A.Y. Rozanov, R.R. Paepe
Pages15-31
Number of pages17
Volume4859
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventInstruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V - Waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 22 2002Aug 23 2002

Other

OtherInstruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V
CountryUnited States
CityWaikoloa, HI
Period8/22/028/23/02

Fingerprint

Meteorites
rainbows
biomarkers
Biomarkers
meteorites
carbonaceous meteorites
lakes
Lakes
shales
contaminants
oils
rocks
iron meteorites
exobiology
chimneys
carbonaceous chondrites
x ray analysis
fungi
vents
limestone

Keywords

  • Astrobiology
  • Biomarkers
  • Meteorites
  • Microfossils
  • Murchison
  • Rainbow
  • Tagish Lake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Hoover, R. B., Jerman, G., Rozanov, A. Y., & Davies, P. (2002). Biomarkers and microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites. In R. B. Hoover, A. Y. Rozanov, & R. R. Paepe (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 4859, pp. 15-31) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.463321

Biomarkers and microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites. / Hoover, Richard B.; Jerman, Gregory; Rozanov, Alexei Yu; Davies, Paul.

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. ed. / R.B. Hoover; A.Y. Rozanov; R.R. Paepe. Vol. 4859 2002. p. 15-31.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Hoover, RB, Jerman, G, Rozanov, AY & Davies, P 2002, Biomarkers and microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites. in RB Hoover, AY Rozanov & RR Paepe (eds), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. vol. 4859, pp. 15-31, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V, Waikoloa, HI, United States, 8/22/02. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.463321
Hoover RB, Jerman G, Rozanov AY, Davies P. Biomarkers and microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites. In Hoover RB, Rozanov AY, Paepe RR, editors, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Vol. 4859. 2002. p. 15-31 https://doi.org/10.1117/12.463321
Hoover, Richard B. ; Jerman, Gregory ; Rozanov, Alexei Yu ; Davies, Paul. / Biomarkers and microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. editor / R.B. Hoover ; A.Y. Rozanov ; R.R. Paepe. Vol. 4859 2002. pp. 15-31
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