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Proceedings Paper

Ratios of biogenic elements for distinguishing recent from fossil microorganisms
Author(s): Richard B. Hoover
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Paper Abstract

The ability to distinguish possible microfossils from recent biological contaminants is of great importance to Astrobiology. In this paper we discuss the application of the ratios of life critical biogenic elements (C/O; C/N; and C/S) as determined by Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) to this problem. Biogenic element ratios are provided for a wide variety of living cyanobacteria and other microbial extremophiles, preserved herbarium materials, and ancient biota from the Antarctic Ice Cores and Siberian and Alaskan Permafrost for comparison with macrofossils and microfossils in ancient terrestrial rocks and carbonaceous meteorites.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 October 2007
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 6694, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X, 66940D (3 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.742285
Show Author Affiliations
Richard B. Hoover, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
National Space Science and Technology Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6694:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Y. Rozanov; Paul C. W. Davies, Editor(s)

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