Since the early 1960s, Philip Abelson, Ed Hare, and Tom Hoering had been studying various types of ancient organic matter. Abelson was one of the first to find amino acids in fossil shells (Abelson, 1956) and as Geophysical Laboratory Director, he hired Ed Hare as a geological chemist in the late 1960s. Ed’s specialty was dating fossils by amino acid racemisation methods. Basically, all amino acids in living organisms are in the L-form, but after an organism dies, the remaining amino acids in fossil proteins can convert to the D-form. The Arrenhius equation, which describes the rate of...

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