Otherwordly site near Cazadero captivates researchers


Scientists looking for clues to the origins of life on Earth have discovered new life forms right here in Sonoma County that may shed light on how life evolved — and how it might be detected elsewhere in the universe.

A three-year study of alkaline ponds at The Cedars, a vast but remote serpentine area north of Cazadero, has uncovered microorganisms never before detected, existing in the kinds of harsh conditions believed to reflect those that first gave rise to life, scientists say.

Researchers hope studying these unique microbes and how they function may impart information about the biochemical reactions that imbued inorganic substances on early Earth with the spark of life.

via Remote Sonoma County landscape offers microscopic peek at life's beginnings | The Press Democrat.