PAOC Spotlights

A Look Back in Time

Thu October 7th, 2010
MIT News Office - Morgan Bettex

By linking the odd geometry of bacterial growths to photosynthesis, researchers may have a new way to study Earth’s oldest fossils...

About 85 percent of the history of life on Earth has been solely microbial, meaning that single-celled organisms ruled the planet for billions of years before more complex life evolved. One way that geologists try to decipher how these cells functioned as far back as 3 billion years is by studying modern microbial mats, or gooey layers of nutrient-exchanging bacteria that grow mostly on moist surfaces. Dan Rothman speaks to MIT News about his groups collaboration with Tanja Bosak (EAPS) exploring the origins of photosynthesis.