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Origin & Evolution of Life: November 2019


Animals evolved from single-celled ancestors, before diversifying into 30 or 40 distinct anatomical designs. When and how animal ancestors made the transition from single-celled microbes to complex multicellular organisms has been the focus of intense debate.

The origin of eukaryotes remains enigmatic. Current data suggests that eukaryotes may have risen from an archaeal lineage known as "Asgard archaea".

The air, earth and water of our planet are pulsating with living things. Yet, a vast and diverse web of life exists, about which almost nothing is known. This is the world of flagellates, tiny organisms that persist in staggering numbers in many diverse ecosystems around the world.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have cultivated lifelike chemical reactions while pioneering a new strategy for studying the origin of life.

The discovery of giant viruses with large genomes has transformed our understanding of the limits of viral complexity in the biosphere, and subsequent research in model virus-host systems has advanced our knowledge of intricate mechanisms used by these viruses to take over host cells during infection.

Can scrambled eggs unscramble themselves? Well, sort of. The cytoplasm of ruptured Xenopus frog eggs spontaneously reorganizes into cell-like compartments, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

By creating protocells in hot, alkaline seawater, a UCL-led research team has added to evidence that the origin of life could have been in deep-sea hydrothermal vents rather than shallow pools.