Science: The Dawn of Life

Some of the world's oldest organisms are identified

Though scientists have established that the earth was born some 4.6 billion years ago, formed from debris orbiting the sun, they are less certain about when —and under what conditions—life began on the planet. Only last month, a Harvard University paleobiologist pushed back the dawn of life by announcing the finding of what appeared to be fossils of single-celled organisms dating back 3.5 billion years. Now biologists working under grants from NASA and the National Science Foundation have identified living creatures that may be little changed from organisms that lived during the first billion...

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