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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Latest Steven Shirey Stories

6f98c655038c55891c1e74e67e388514
2011-07-22 12:04:00

Ancient minerals tell story of planet's distant past Jewelers abhor diamond impurities, but they are a bonanza for scientists. Safely encased in super-hard diamond, impurities are unaltered, ancient minerals that tell the story of Earth's distant past. Researchers analyzed data from more than 4,000 of these mineral inclusions to find that continents started the cycle of breaking apart, drifting, and colliding about three billion years ago. The research results, published in this week's issue...

2011-07-22 01:24:22

Jewelers abhor diamond impurities, but they are a bonanza for scientists. Safely encased in the super-hard diamond, impurities are unaltered, ancient minerals that can tell the story of Earth's distant past. Researchers analyzed data from the literature of over 4,000 of these mineral inclusions to find that continents started the cycle of breaking apart, drifting, and colliding about 3 billion years ago. The research, published in the July 22, 2011, issue of Science, pinpoints when this...

1b9acf8df8c8df1cff36122116fd093b
2008-06-11 16:34:01

The world's richest source of platinum and related metals is an enigmatic geological structure in South Africa known as the Bushveld Complex. This complex of ancient magmas is known to have formed some two billion years ago, but the source of its metallic riches has been a matter of scientific dispute. Now researchers from the Carnegie Institution and the University of Cape Town have traced the origin of the unique ore deposits by using another of South Africa's treasures"”diamonds.The...