Recently in the Origin & Evolution of Life Category


Primitive ponds may have provided a suitable environment for brewing up Earth's first life forms, more so than oceans, a new MIT study finds.

On early earth, a series of spontaneous events needed to happen in order for life as we know it to begin. One of those phenomena is the formation of compartments enclosed by lipid membranes.

Oxygen in the form of the oxygen molecule (O2), produced by plants and vital for animals, is thankfully abundant in Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Researchers studying the history of O2 on Earth, however, know that it was relatively scarce for much of our planet's 4.6 billion-year existence.

An international and multi-disciplinary team coordinated by Abderrazak El Albani at the Institut de chimie des milieux et matériaux de Poitiers (CNRS/Université de Poitiers) has uncovered the oldest fossilised traces of motility.

Three and a half billion years ago Earth hosted life, but was it barely surviving, or thriving? A new study carried out by a multi institutional team with leadership including the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) of Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) provides new answers to this question.

A new study has revealed how a group of deep-sea microbes provides clues to the evolution of life on Earth, according to a recent paper in The ISME Journal.

There are two dominant and contrasting classes of origin of life scenarios: those predicting that life emerged in submarine hydrothermal systems, where chemical disequilibrium can provide an energy source for nascent life; and those predicting that life emerged within subaerial environments, where UV catalysis of reactions may occur to form the building blocks of life.

Around 4 billion years ago there lived a microbe called LUCA: the Last Universal Common Ancestor. There is evidence that it could have lived a somewhat 'alien' lifestyle, hidden away deep underground in iron-sulfur rich hydrothermal vents.

Chaetognaths, or arrow worms, have a distinct jaw structure composed of dense protein matrix and a fibrous substance called chitin. These organisms display an ambiguous set of developmental and morphological features, making them difficult to categorize on the Tree of Life.

Our understanding of when the very first animals started living on land is helped by identifying trace fossils--the tracks and trails left by ancient animals--in sedimentary rocks that were deposited on the continents.