Origin & Evolution of Life: April 2009

NAI's Archean Biosphere Drilling Project supported the acquisition of pristine drill core samples obtained from ancient rocks in Western Australia. New results from those studies, published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience, point toward an earlier start for oxygenic photosynthesis on the early Earth than previously thought.

Members of NAI's Team at Montana State University have provided a Perspectives piece in Dalton Transactions reviewing the organo-metallic chemistry of the active sites of hydrogenase enzymes. Since hydrogen metabolism is presumed to be an early feature in the energetics of life, and hydrogen metabolizing organisms can be traced very early in molecular phylogeny, studying the metal clusters at hydrogenase active sites can reveal potential conditions in which early life arose. Efforts in this field also could have significant impacts on alternative and renewable energy solutions.

[Source: NAI Newsletter]

National Public Radio's Science Friday broadcasted live from Arizona State University on Friday, April 3rd as part of their Origins Symposium. The symposium, which inaugurated ASU's new Origins Initiative, featured world renowned scientists Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, and Craig Venter. The Science Friday broadcast included a panel on the Origins and Evolution of Life composed of Peter Ward, Ariel Anbar, Baruch Blumberg and Paul Davies.

Listen to the archive here:

[Source: NAI Newsletter]