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A new study from Western University explores the possibility that Earth's earliest life forms may have been cultivated by a meteorite impact event.

The research team from Western's Faculty of Science and the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX), which included post-doctoral fellow Haley Sapers and professors Gordon Osinski and Neil Banerjee, investigated rocks from Nördlinger Ries, a 24-kilometer-wide depression located in Bavaria, Germany, and discovered what is purportedly the first-ever microbial trace fossils from within an impact crater. Trace fossils, also called ichnofossils, are geological records of biological activity.

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