Recently in the Origin & Evolution of Life Category


Recreating A Primordial RNA World

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have taken a big step toward the laboratory re-creation of the "RNA world," which is generally believed to have preceded modern life forms based on DNA and proteins.

Multicellularity--the integration of previously autonomous cells into a new, more complex organism--is one of the major transitions in evolution.

Newly discovered fossil evidence from Namibia strengthens the proposition that the world's first mass extinction was caused by "ecosystem engineers" - newly evolved biological organisms that altered the environment so radically it drove older species to extinction.

Early life forms on Earth are likely to have mutated and evolved at much higher rates than they do today, suggests a new analysis from researchers at the University of North Carolina.

Our Earth consists of silicate rocks and an iron core with a thin veneer of water and life. But the first potentially habitable worlds to form might have been very different.

Life on Earth often depends on symbiotic relationships between microbes and other forms of life.

Our sun's adolescence was stormy-and new evidence shows that these tempests may have been just the key to seeding life as we know it.

A New View of the Tree of Life

Scientists have dramatically expanded the tree of life by using genomic data from over 1,000 organisms that have not previously been cultivated in the laboratory. The new version of the tree of life includes Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya.

Melting Pots for Life on Earth

Geochemists from Trinity College Dublin's School of Natural Sciences may have found a solution to a long-debated problem as to where - and how - life first formed on Earth.

The bombardment of Mars some 4 billion years ago by comets and asteroids as large as West Virginia likely enhanced climate conditions enough to make the planet more conducive to life, at least for a time, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.