Recognition of Paleobiochemicals by a Combined Molecular Sulfur and Isotope Geochemical Approach

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Science  17 Apr 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5055, pp. 358-362
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5055.358


Study of organic matter in immature sediments from a Messinian evaporitic basin shows that consideration of structures, modes of occurrence, and carbon isotopic compositions of free and sulfur-bound carbon skeletons allow identification of biochemical precursors. Detailed information concerning biotic communities present during deposition of sediments can be retrieved in this way. Moreover, unprecedented biochemicals were recognized; these extend the horizon of biomarker geochemistry.