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Proceedings Paper

Significance of microstructure for the recognition of biologically mediated mineralization
Author(s): Hojatollah Vali; Jeanne Paquette; S. Kelly Sears; Mounir Temmam; Anthony E. Williams-Jones; Everett J. Gibson Jr.; Kathy L. Thomas-Keprta; Christopher S. Romanek; David S. McKay
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Paper Abstract

The microstructure and surface microtopography of biogenic carbonate minerals were compared and contrasted with synthetic and natural abiotic carbonates. Bacteria and their by-products on mineral surfaces are imaged in TEM using high-resolution platinum/carbon and gold-decorated replicas. In contrast to SEM, this technique allows imaging of organic and inorganic structures in their original hydrated states and at higher magnification. The material examined so far show different microstructures between bacterial-mediated and inorganic minerals. This suggests that in the absence of preserved microorganisms, the unique microstructure and surface microtopography (biominerals) can be used to recognize biological activities in ancient terrestrial and extraterrestrial rocks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 1997
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3111, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms, (11 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.278767
Show Author Affiliations
Hojatollah Vali, McGill Univ. (Canada)
Jeanne Paquette, McGill Univ. (Canada)
S. Kelly Sears, McGill Univ. (Canada)
Mounir Temmam, McGill Univ. (Canada)
Anthony E. Williams-Jones, McGill Univ. (Canada)
Everett J. Gibson Jr., NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Kathy L. Thomas-Keprta, Lockheed Martin Corp. (United States)
Christopher S. Romanek, Univ. of Georgia (United States)
David S. McKay, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3111:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms
Richard B. Hoover, Editor(s)

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