It was a controversial position at the time because it meant that life on Earth got going 200 million years earlier than previously thought.In the new study, Hassenkam and Rosing used advanced new techniques to study gemstones from Isua.The earliest evidence for life on Earth arises among the oldest rocks still preserved on the planet.

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Professor Elizabeth Bell from the University of California, a geochemist who also studies early life, writes in an email that the stone may potentially have been contaminated with material form a later point in the Earth’s history.“I’m worried that the rocks that they study are younger [than the surrounding material] or that the carbon could have been injected into the rocks during later hydrothermal changes,” writes Bell. They explain that the rocks in question were discovered in intact deposits of rocks and sediments, and therefore the dating of the material is reliable.“The carbon was a part of the original sediment and was not introduced through later cracks or similar, which could have introduced organic material.

There are numerous articles that support these observations.

One of the challenges of searching for early signs of life on the planet is that the surface is constantly changing.

There are just a few places on Earth where you can find material from Earth’s early years.

Few places on Earth contain rock debris from Earth’s early days. Scientists say that they have found some of the earliest evidence for life on Earth embedded in the precious stones here.

(Photo: Minik Rosing)Nobody knows with certainty when or where life first began on Earth, but it is so long ago that you might think all traces of early life had long since vanished.

But encapsulated within ancient gemstones in Greenland, scientists think that they have discovered remains of some of the earliest known life on Earth.“We’ve used a new technique to study what’s been saved in some of the tiny pockets inside these gemstones.

Our studies show that it’s probably the remains of single-celled organisms, which became trapped and encapsulated in stone,” says lead-author Tue Hassenkam, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The filament-like fossils contained chemical signals that could herald life, but it's hard to prove that they do, researchers not involved in the study told Live Science.