Scientists are beginning to get a better idea of what life might have looked like in the early Universe.
In a paper published in the journal Science on Wednesday, researchers say they have found evidence that a proto-life form could have been present on the early Earth.
If true, this would mean life on the planet might have started with the creation of life.
The paper, titled “Evidence for a proto‐life on the Earth”, is the first to link a fossilized fossil with a protolife, a form of life that existed millions of years ago.
It comes at a time when scientists are struggling to understand what life was like at the dawn of the Universe.
Scientists believe that protoLife started with simple molecules like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, but that it evolved into complex life forms that could live for billions of years.
For many years, scientists have thought that life evolved on Earth, but the evidence for life evolving in the Universe has been weak.
Scientists have also tried to understand the origin of life by studying the chemistry of the fossilized remains of ancient stars, planets and other objects that formed during the early stages of the cosmos.
“We’re really trying to understand how the early universe became populated,” said John Martin, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
Martin and his colleagues say the new study adds to the evidence that early life existed on Earth.
“We have evidence that proto-Life started on Earth,” Martin said.
“It’s a really interesting discovery that it happened in the right place and the right time.”
The scientists say that they have evidence of a proto life form that lived between 100 and 200 million years ago, about 150 million years before the present.
A proto life is one that has not yet formed a cell and therefore does not have a genome.
In this case, they are referring to protozoa, which include bacteria, algae, fungi and plants.
While the existence of proto‐Life was initially thought to be impossible, the researchers say the discovery has given them more confidence.
These kinds of fossils are extremely difficult to study, because they have been lost to time.
But the authors say that the fossil has been preserved by cosmic radiation, which means the organisms might have survived long enough to be preserved.
But the discovery does not mean that life was on Earth before Earth formed.
Instead, it is likely that life first appeared in the very early Universe, when the Universe was only a few hundred million years old.
And the presence of a single proto‐Earth is a strong indication that the Universe did not have enough time to form life before Earth was formed.