Scientists say life on Earth is a billion years older than they thought

February 17, 2015 4:42 PM

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Even more so than oxygen, life needs nitrogen. Previously, researchers believed the atmosphere of infant Earth was thin and fickle, devoid of the nitrogen levels needed by early life forms -- viruses, bacteria and all other microscopic organisms.

But new analysis of ancient rock samples reveal chemical evidence that early life forms were pulling nitrogen from the atmosphere as early as 3.2 billion years ago.

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