Microfossils of sulphur-metabolizing cells in 3.4-billion-year-old rocks of Western Australia; Nature Geoscience Aug 21.
“Sulphur isotope data from early Archaean rocks suggest that microbes with metabolisms based on sulphur existed almost 3.5 billion years ago, leading to suggestions that the earliest microbial ecosystems were sulphur-based. However, morphological evidence for these sulphur-metabolizing bacteria has been elusive. Here we report the presence of microstructures from the 3.4-billion-year-old Strelley Pool Formation in Western Australia that are associated with micrometre-sized pyrite crystals. The microstructures we identify exhibit indicators of biological affinity, including hollow cell lumens, carbonaceous cell walls enriched in nitrogen….”
(…meant that the text got too technical for me at this point!). For a quick layperson’s view, see the blog by the nice folk at ZME Science.
Note to creationists on G+, I’ll see your 6000 yrs and raise you 3.5 billion!