Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Earth science

Life battered but unbowed

Early in its history, Earth experienced a pounding from extraterrestrial impacts. But instead of sterilizing the planet, it allowed microbial life to persist, according to numerical models of Earth's crust.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Impact evidence on the pock-marked face of the Moon.

NASA/JPL/USGS

References

  1. Abramov, O. & Mojzsis, S. J. Nature 459, 419–422 (2009).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Nisbet, E. G. & Sleep, N. H. Nature 409, 1083–1091 (2001).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bowring, S. A. & Williams, I. S. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 134, 3–16 (1999).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Whitehouse, M. J., Myers, J. S. & Fedo, C. M. J. Geol. Soc. 166, 335–348 (2009).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Maher, K. A. & Stevenson, D. J. Nature 331, 612–614 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Sleep, N. H., Zahnle, K. J., Kasting, J. F. & Morowitz, H. J. Nature 342, 139–142 (1989).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Wilde, S. A., Valley, J. W., Peck, W. H. & Graham, C. M. Nature 409, 175–178 (2001).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Mojzsis, S. J., Harrison, T. M. & Pidgeon, R. T. Nature 409, 178–181 (2001).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Finlay, B. Science 296, 1061–1063 (2002).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Gold, T. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 89, 6045–6049 (1992).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Lin, L.-H. et al. Science 314, 479–482 (2006).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Szewzyk, U., Szewzyk, R. & Stenström, T.-A. Proc.Natl Acad. Sci. USA 91, 1810–1813 (1994).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kashefi, K. & Lovley, D. R. Science 301, 934 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Pace, N. R. Science 276, 734–740 (1997).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Di Giulio, M. J. Theor. Biol. 221, 425–436 (2003).

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Schwartzman, D. W. & Lineweaver, C. H. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 32, 168–171 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Boussau, B., Blanquart, S., Necsulea, A., Lartillot, N. & Gouy, M. Nature 456, 942–946 (2008).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Rothschild, L. J. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 363, 2787–2801 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rothschild, L. Life battered but unbowed. Nature 459, 335–336 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/459335a

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/459335a

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing