S-isotope composition of nanopyrite

 
Investigating the origin of life through isotopic composition: imaging of a framboid nanopyrite in a modern sediment

Using the high spatial resolution of the NanoSIMS, it is possible to investigate the S-isotope composition of nanopyrite in the sedimentary record. These minerals may have resulted from microbial activity in past environments, hence constituting unique record to improve the understanding of the origin of life on the early Earth. NanoSIMS is a pivotal tool to perform the research of the STROMATA project (ERC StG PI: J. Marin-Carbonne, collaboration between UNIL, EPFL and MNHN Paris).

Recorded on CAMECA NanoSIMS 50L at Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. Image courtesy of L. Remusat.
J. Marin-Carbonne et al. Sulfur isotope's signal of nanopyrites enclosed in 2.7 Ga stromatolitic organic remains reveal microbial sulfate reduction. Geobiology 16(2),121-138 (2018).

Winning image for the month of October 2020