Ancient crystal contains possible traces of early life

Scientists have found tiny bits of carbon trapped inside a 4.1 billion-year-old crystal from Australia. They say the inclusions may represent the earliest evidence of life on Earth. Read more about the discovery, and the controversy, in my story for Science Magazine.

Zircons are tough, tiny crystals, some of which date back 4 billion years or more. (Credit: Denniss via Wikimedia)
The carbon inclusions are trapped inside an ancient zircon crystal. (Credit: Denniss via Wikimedia)