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whitehatlurker's Journal: 3D Microscopy of Fossils Embedded in Solid Rock

UCLA announces that a process involving Raman spectroscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy has enabled researchers to take three dimensional pictures of fossils that have been embedded in solid stone for over 650 million years. It also permits characterisation of the chemical structures of the fossil.

As the process is non-destructive and can image microscopic fossils (such as bacteria) with (formerly) soft tissues, there is speculation that this could be used on a mission to Mars to examine sediments there for evidence of life.

This work will appear in the next issue of Astrobiology. Previous work has appeared in Geobiology.

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