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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
Life’s Fuel Cells
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have built miniature metabolic fuel cells out of elements that would have been available to life on the early Earth.

Space Dust Carries Water and Organic Carbon
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
For the first time, scientists have detected water molecules on the surface of interplanetary dust particles. The findings open a new possibility about the delivery of life's ingredients to Earth and potentially elsewhere.

Cooking Up Life's Origin -- The Safer Way
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have published a simpler, safer method for conducting Miller-Urey origin of life experiments--which may still yield new insight about how life began on Earth.

Mapping Amino Acids to Understand Life's Origins
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research uses computer models to construct a large database of amino acids that life could have used, revealing thousands of possible amino acid structures.

The Oldest Signs of Life on Earth
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have found signs of microbial life in rocks 3.48 billion years old--possibly the oldest signs of life on Earth. These sedimentary structures may guide our search for life on Mars.

Astrobiology in the Folds
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Astrobiologists have revealed new information about the structure of RNA molecules found in the ribosome of cells. The study indicates that long-accepted models of ribosomal RNA, which are used to study how ribosomes function, require some major updating.

A Microbe's Fountain of Youth
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have found that, under the right conditions, the yeast S. pombe doesn’t grow old. The discovery provides insight into our understanding of aging, and shows that even some of the best-studied life forms can still have surprising qualities.

The Houses that Microbes Build
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
As the oldest evidence for life in the fossil record, stromatolites provide insights into the early evolution of life on Earth and serve as potential "biosignatures" when looking for life elsewhere. A recent paper highlights a different kind of microbe-created structure similar to stromatolites.

Did Autocells Lead to Life?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Terrence Deacon at the SETI Institute recently gave a talk that summarized how autogenesis could have bridged the gap between prebiotic and biotic systems. This process would need to start in conditions only present on the gas giants before being transferred to Earth, suggesting that the entire solar system was needed for life to form on our planet.

Two Strains of Bacteria Team Up, Thrive on Limited Resources
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
In a discovery that further demonstrates just how unexpected and unusual nature can be, scientists have found two strains of bacteria whose symbiotic relationship is unlike anything seen before.
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