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Origin & Evolution of Life: August 2016


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.