[GRG] Off topic: Microbes may have been responsible for the Permian extinction


Methanogenic burst in the end-Permian carbon cycle

Daniel H. Rothmana,b,1,
Gregory P. Fournierc,
Katherine L. Frenchb,
Eric J. Almc,
Edward A. Boyleb,
Changqun Caod, and
Roger E. Summonsb



The end-Permian extinction is the most severe biotic crisis in the
fossil record. Its occurrence has been attributed to increased CO2
levels deriving from massive Siberian volcanism. However, such
arguments have been difficult to justify quantitatively. We propose
that the disruption of the carbon cycle resulted from the emergence
of a new microbial metabolic pathway that enabled efficient
conversion of marine organic carbon to methane. The methanogenic
expansion was catalyzed by nickel associated with the volcanic
event. We support this hypothesis with an analysis of carbon
isotopic changes leading up to the extinction, phylogenetic
analysis of methanogenic archaea, and measurements of nickel
concentrations in South China sediments. Our results highlight the
sensitivity of the Earth system to microbial evolution.


The end-Permian extinction is associated with a mysterious
disruption to Earth’s carbon cycle. Here we identify causal
mechanisms via three observations. First, we show that geochemical
signals indicate superexponential growth of the marine inorganic
carbon reservoir, coincident with the extinction and consistent
with the expansion of a new microbial metabolic pathway. Second, we
show that the efficient acetoclastic pathway in Methanosarcina
emerged at a time statistically indistinguishable from the
extinction. Finally, we show that nickel concentrations in South
China sediments increased sharply at the extinction, probably as a
consequence of massive Siberian volcanism, enabling a methanogenic
expansion by removal of nickel limitation. Collectively, these
results are consistent with the instigation of Earth’s greatest
mass extinction by a specific microbial innovation.


About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. http://www.AgingIntervention.org Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s