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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
Ups and Downs in Biodiversity After Mass Extinction
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study shows that diversity of marine fauna ballooned in response to climate fluctuations following Earth's largest known mass extinction. Over time, however, climate change adversely affected biodiversity and species went extinct.

In Memoriam: Carl Woese
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
The astrobiology community deeply mourns the loss of Dr. Carl Woese, the University of Illinois microbiology professor credited with the discovery of a “third domain” of life. He died on Sunday, December 30th at his home. He was 84.

Ediacarans on Land
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study has removed Ediacaran fossils from the ancestry of animals. Ediacaran fossils are the oldest large multicellular fossils and have long been a scientific mystery.

A New Way to Look at the Dawn of Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new approach to the question of life's origin focuses not on the chemical 'hardware' of life, but instead the 'software' or information content.

The Long and the Short of Oil and Water
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have discovered that water transforms into a previously unknown structure between a liquid and a vapor when in contact with alcohol molecules containing long, only chains. The findings could have implications in understanding numerous biological processes.

Europe’s Origin of Life Summit: Excerpts from an Interview with Stuart Kauffman
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Molecular biologist and complexity theorist, Stuart Kauffman, discusses his role in research taking place as part of the Origin of Life-CERN collaborative project. In February 2013, CERN is set to host private talks concerning the potential for origin of life research at the organization.

Modeling the Chemistry that Sparked the Origin of Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Recent mathematical research is shedding light on a possible mechanism involved in the origin of life on Earth.

Dinosaurs and the Evolution of Flight
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study on feathers in bird-like dinosaurs is helping scientists understand how flight may have evolved on Earth.

Hunting Amino Acids
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new instrument could allow astrobiologists to study chirality, or "handedness," of amino acids on our solar system's icy moons, asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects.

A New Microbial Symbiosis Discovered
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
By accidentally impaling his hand on a tree branch, a 71-year-old man helped scientists discover a new bacterium and solve a mystery about how bacteria came to live inside insects.

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