Recently in the Origin & Evolution of Life Category

Reservoir computing (RC) tackles complex problems by mimicking the way information is processed in animal brains.

In evolutionary biology, tracing back ancestral genetic elements is a quest in reconstructing the history of life on earth. The presence of similar or "homologous" genes in different species speaks of shared ancestry and of past molecular events that led to diversification from a common ancestor, ultimately leading to speciation.

A New Theory Of Life's Multiple Origins

The history of life on Earth has often been likened to a four-billion-year-old torch relay. One flame, lit at the beginning of the chain, continues to pass on life in the same form all the way down. But what if life is better understood on the analogy of the eye, a convergent organ that evolved from independent origins? What if life evolved not just once, but multiple times independently?

Perhaps the most fundamental puzzle in biology - "What is life?" - is addressed in a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Oleg Abramov.

Nitrogen is vital for all forms of life¬: It is part of proteins, nucleic acids and other cell structures. Thus, it was of great importance for the development of life on early Earth to be able to convert gaseous dinitrogen from the atmosphere into a bio-available form - ammonium.

Scientists have begun the search for extraterrestrial life in the Solar System in earnest, but such life may be subtly or profoundly different from Earth-life, and methods based on detecting particular molecules as biosignatures may not apply to life with a different evolutionary history.

Microbial life already had the necessary conditions to exist on our planet 3.5 billion years ago. This was the conclusion reached by a research team after studying microscopic fluid inclusions in barium sulfate (barite) from the Dresser Mine in Marble Bar, Australia.

Simple systems can reproduce faster than complex ones. So, how can the complexity of life have arisen from simple chemical beginnings?

Lightning strikes were just as important as meteorites in creating the perfect conditions for life to emerge on Earth, geologists say. Minerals delivered to Earth in meteorites more than 4 billion years ago have long been advocated as key ingredients for the development of life on our planet.

According to a UC Riverside study, 555-million-year-old oceanic creatures from the Ediacaran period share genes with today's animals, including humans.