Recently in the Origin & Evolution of Life Category

You might know it as a drink for hipsters or as an ancient brew drunk for centuries in Eurasia, but the culture that ferments sugary tea into Kombucha is going around the world. Bolted to the outside of the International Space Station are the same bacteria and yeasts that are used in making Kombucha.

Hydrogen peroxide -- commonly used as hair bleach -- may have provided the energy source for the development of life on Earth, two applied mathematicians have found.

Anyone who's ever noticed a water puddle drying in the sun has seen an environment that may have driven the type of chemical reactions that scientists believe were critical to the formation of life on the early Earth.

Carbonaceous chondrites are a class of meteorite known for having a high content of water and organics.

Astronomers have long held that water -- two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom -- was a relative latecomer to the universe. They believed that any element heavier than helium had to have been formed in the cores of stars and not by the Big Bang itself.

Together with colleagues from Uppsala University in Sweden and the University of Vienna in Austria, Steffen Leth Jrgensen from the Centre for Geobiology at the University of Bergen (UiB) has published the article Complex Archaea that bridge the gap between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in Nature, presenting the discovery of this new microbe.

DNA is synonymous with life, but where did it originate? One way to answer this question is to try to recreate the conditions that formed DNA's molecular precursors.

Our Ocean's Cosmic Origin

A new study published in Science looks beyond the question of whether Earth's oceans can be traced to comets or other objects from space, and instead asks the question: where did the water in comets come from?

The self-organization properties of DNA-like molecular fragments four billion years ago may have guided their own growth into repeating chemical chains long enough to act as a basis for primitive life, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Milan.

The oxygen isotope record in sedimentary chert and the compelling case for a near constant isotopic oxygen composition of seawater over geologic time support thermophilic surface temperatures prevailing in the Archean, with some support for hot conditions lasting until about 1.5 billion years ago, aside from lower temperatures including glacial episodes at 2.1-2.4 Ga and possibly an earlier one at 2.9 Ga.