Ancient microdiamonds embedded inside ancient zircons found
Chemical analyses indicate that the mini-gems contain higher-than-average concentrations of the carbon-12 isotope, researchers report in the July 3 Nature.
Experts strongly debate whether that anomaly is evidence that life existed on Earth so soon after the planet formed, 4.6 billion years ago. If true, however, the findings would put life’s earliest appearance at least 400 million years sooner than previously thought.
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