This Meteorite-Munching Microbe Might Explain How Life Emerged on Earth

Electron microscope image showing meteorite dust fragments inhabited and processed by M. sedula.
Image: Tetyana Milojevic

Meteorites are an unappreciated food source for a specific metal-loving microorganism, according to new research. The finding could reveal an entirely new chemistry that facilitated the emergence of life on Earth—or possibly even how life got here in the first place.

The beautifully named Metallosphaera sedula is capable of consuming and processing “extraterrestrial material,” as the authors describe it in their new study, published this week in Scientific Reports.

Written by