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Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM


O'MALLEY, Christina E.1, CILWA, Katherine E.2, AUSICH, William3, COE, James V.2 and CHIN, Yu-Ping4, (1)Department of Earth And Environmental Sciences, Wright State University, Brehm Lab 260, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435, (2)Chemistry, The Ohio State University, 100 W. 18th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, (3)School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, 155 S Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1398, (4)School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, 275 Mendenhall Laboratory, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1308,

Biomarker molecules are preserved in and can be extracted from (380 million year old) fossil echinoderms. In order to further characterize these biomarkers, samples have been analyzed by confocal microscopy / with RAMAN spectroscopy, FTIR-ATR, and XRF. In this work, molecules still present within calcite from crushed specimens were analyzed. Organic molecules have a clustered distribution within the calcite that are identifiable concentrations either red or yellow in color. Confocal microscopy confirms that hydroxy-anthroquinones are present in these Paleozoic echinoderms. FTIR-ATR spectra indicate the presence of ketone and hydroxyl moities, and also are evidence that substituted anthraquinone are present in the fossil sample. Thus, study of these ancient biomarkers can move past demonstrating their existence and identity and begin to examine how hydrocarbons are preserved for more than 380 million years and examine the phylogenetic significance of these remarkable remains.
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