Recently in the Origin & Evolution of Life Category


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.

One of the most fundamental unexplained questions in modern science is how life began. Scientists generally believe that simple molecules present in early planetary environments were converted to more complex ones that could have helped jumpstart life by the input of energy from the environment.

Microbes could have performed oxygen-producing photosynthesis at least one billion years earlier in the history of the Earth than previously thought.

New Clues About Old Life

Hundreds of millions of years before there was a chicken or an egg to debate, the first complex animals were evolving in parallel with Earth's rising oxygen levels.