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Astrobiological Relevance
Scientists within the field of Astrobiology are interested in microbial mats because they represent primitive ecosystems that are adapted to environments that are considered inhospitable or extreme to most organisms. Such environments are relatively common within our solar system, and are thought to be more common throughout the universe than the milder conditions under which plants and animals can survive.

With the MBGC model, we seek to provide some insight into the biological role of these mats in determining the atmospheric chemistry of early Earth. By extension, we hope this model will someday be useful in predicting whether distant planets have atmospheres consistent with some type of primitive life.


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