(In comparison, my little hormone vials, here in my above-ground lab, have a background count of about 25 counts per minute for 3.5 milliliters.) So, the physicists want to find fossil fuels that have very little C. Apparently it correlates best with the content of the natural radioactivity of the rocks surrounding the fossil fuels, particularly the neutron- and alpha-particle-emitting isotopes of the uranium-thorium series. Gove and his colleagues told me they think the evidence so far demonstrates that C by local radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium series. The Problem: Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), a sensitive radiometric dating technique, is in some cases finding trace amounts of radioactive carbon-14 in coal deposits, amounts that seem to indicate an age of around 40,000 years.
Presumably most of these bacteria never interact with the "modern" C.
(4) Lowe goes on to make recommendations about using only freshly mined dry coal stored under inert gas, and other recommendations about choice of "background" for radiocarbon labs.
Here we describe a unique subsurface microbial community in which hydrogen-consuming, methane-producing Archaea far outnumber the Bacteria.
It has been proposed, on the basis of geochemical and thermodynamic considerations, that geologically derived hydrogen might support subsurface microbial communities on Mars and Europa in which methanogens form the base of the ecosystem.
ABSTRACT: The search for extraterrestrial life may be facilitated if ecosystems can be found on Earth that exist under conditions analogous to those present on other planets or moons.
Example of high uranium content in certain coals: "Anomalous trace element abundances in Tertiary coal ash from East Garo Hills, Meghalaya, India." 1996.
on the Applications of Accelerators in Research and Industry, J.
On subterranean bacteria: "Deep life in the slow, slow lane." Richard A. More about subterranean bacteria: "A hydrogen-based subsurface microbial community dominated by methanogens." 2002.
The aim is to find fossil fuels that have a or less; below that, neutrino activity can be reliably detected.