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Finding the Path to Earth's Early Oxygen

earth sky air science

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#1    kannin

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:07 PM

The game changer for life on Earth was photosynthesis. Now scientists think they've found a molecular stepping-stone for this complicated chemical process, which flooded the atmosphere with oxygen about 2.4 billion years ago.

Tiny single-celled organisms called cyanobacteria were the first life on Earth to master photosynthesis. They use light from the sun to split water molecules, releasing oxygen as waste. Many researchers suspect the oxidation of the element manganese by earlier life-forms was the first step in developing this molecular machinery the metal still plays a critical role in photosynthesis today.

At its most basic, the process of oxidation removes electrons from atoms. In this case, the early microbes stole electrons from manganese, replacing them with oxygen taken from carbon dioxide. The result is manganese oxide, similar to iron rust or copper's green

http://www.livescien...-manganese.html

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#2    redhen

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:23 PM

Where would we be without cyanobacteria?

You'll love this BBC documentary !

*snip*

Edited by Saru, 02 July 2013 - 10:13 AM.
Video removed due to copyright


#3    kannin

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:32 PM

View Postredhen, on 01 July 2013 - 01:23 PM, said:

Where would we be without cyanobacteria?

You'll love this BBC documentary !

thanx i will watch later looks good though!

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