When you think of the planet Earth, after all, that’s all we know so far. However, our planet was not always so hospitable and only a handful of oxygen emerged. 2.4 billion years ago.
According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Connecticut (Yukon), the germs on Earth are likely to survive thanks to arsenic before oxygen days. You know, substances that can cause cancer and be toxic to long-term use World Health Organization (WHO).
The study was published in the journal Nature communicates the earth and the environmenton Tuesday.
See also: Moon, Oxygen, Waste of Water
The oxygen cycles that plants and some germs use in our time take water, sunlight and CO2, then convert them into carbohydrates and oxygen. They are consumed by other bacteria that need oxygen to breathe, and the cycle continues.
But as the study showed, half of our planet’s life was devoid of oxygen. So how did these other creatures survive?
Lead author of the study and Yukon Professor of Marine Sciences and Geosciences, Peter Wescher, And his team answered the same question.
There were already many theories as to how life went on Earth in the days before oxygen was available, but Wischer was not convinced.
Arsenic has been on the list of possibilities since 2008 when evidence emerged. And in 2014, Vischer and his colleagues found more evidence of arsenic-based photosynthesis.
Then, the team found an active microbial mat in Laguna La Brava, in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. These rocks live in an environment that is completely devoid of oxygen, at high altitudes, where they are exposed to harsh conditions and a lot of UV rays. Perfect for comparing the conditions of the early days of the earth.
Forget Explained They “Arsenic also contains a lot of water. The water that flows over the rocks contains hydrogen sulfide, which is a volcanic eruption and flows very fast on these mats.
“I have been working with microbial mats for about 35 years or more. This is the only system on earth where I found a microscopic mattress that worked perfectly in the absence of oxygen, ”he added.
The team that discovered it was that Matt was building carbonate deposits and building a new generation. Stromatolites, Layered Celery Deposit – Thanks to arsenic in many ways.
And it’s not just on earth that this type of equipment is being used for such research. Wischer pointed out That Mars’ Perseverance Rover will use a similar instrument on the Red Planet to search for life on Mars.