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Life's Working Definition
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
04/14/03
Finding life elsewhere in the universe depends on knowing when you see it, according to Colorado professor Carol Cleland. She gives a view of how life might not need a working definition as much as a theory of life -- at least until scientists find a few more exceptions to prove the rules.

Weird Life on the Mats
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
01/03/03
The fossil record is full of animals with bizarre body shapes. Do these extinct species represent failed evolutionary experiments, or were they simply well-adapted to an environment that no longer exists?

Defining Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/30/02
What is life, exactly? This is a question that keeps biologists up at night. The science of biology is the study of life, yet scientists can't agree on an absolute definition. What about a computer program that learns and evolves? Can a wild fire - which feeds, grows, and reproduces - be considered a living entity?

Studying Evolution with Digital Organisms
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/27/02
Can we grasp the workings of Darwinian evolution by studying the behavior of digital organisms that exist only as strings of computer code? Scientists in Caltech's Digital Life Laboratory think so.

Evolution's Sweet Tooth
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/25/02
How did intelligence evolve? A scientist studying differences between humans and great apes may have found a biochemical step in that direction.

Ripples in Time
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/04/02
Until the last fifteen percent of the Earth's age, the continents were barren, lifeless wastelands. Life had yet to hit the shore. But a kind of molecular clock says the hands of time may have started ticking many billions of years earlier.

Life from Scratch?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
11/26/02
As pioneers of the Human Genome Project announced their next target- life created de novo, or from a minimal genetic recipe- the debate heats up about what 'minimal' actually might mean when their prospective life forms start to take shape.

The Tree of Life: Cold Start?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
10/30/02
For decades, scientists have used a comprehensive tree of life showing heat-loving bacteria as the Earth's earliest bacteria. Now, a more accurate reanalysis of the data place those bacteria up among the leaves.

The Life That Spawned A Quarter-Million Descendant Species
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
10/23/02
The first cellular organisms with a nucleus, called protists, now comprise nearly a quarter-million named species. Including green algae and parasites, they make up the first link in the complex food chain that not only sustains all life on Earth, but modifies terrestrial weather.

Studying Evolution with Digital Organisms
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
10/07/02
Can we grasp the workings of Darwinian evolution by studying the behavior of digital organisms that exist only as strings of computer code? Scientists in Caltech's Digital Life Laboratory think so.
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