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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
What Triggers a Mass Extinction?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have created a framework for weighing the factors that might have led to the second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history. The research reveals that the majority of extinctions on Earth were caused by habitat loss due to falling sea levels and cooling tropical oceans.

Mapping Intelligence in the Brain
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have mapped the physical architecture of intelligence in the brain.

In the Beginning.. was the Beaker?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers are moving closer to understanding how cells begin to duplicate their DNA, and ultimately replicate themselves. The study sheds new light on processes that underlie the origin and evolution of life as we know it.

Coral Reefs Have Herpes
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research shows that viral diseases may play a role in the decline of corals in Earth's oceans.

Exploding Dinosaur Hypothesis Implodes
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study has dispelled the theory that putrefaction gases produced by decomposition caused some dinosaur carcasses to explode before they were fossilized.

The Atmosphere and the Emergence of Animals
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
By studying carbon-rich rocks, researchers are gaining new information about about how changes in the atmosphere and oceans of the ancient Earth helped stage the emergence of animal life.

Study of Ribosome Evolution Challenges 'RNA World' Hypothesis
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study shows that proteins began interacting with RNA even before ribosomes were present in cells. The findings challenge a long-held hypothesis about the early evolution of life.

Meteorites Reveal Another Way to Make Life's Components
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research shows that there is more than one way to make crucial components of life. The study increases the likelihood that life emerged elsewhere in the Universe.

Oldest Animal Skeleton
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have discovered the oldest animal with a skeleton. The organism is between 560 million and 550 million years old, and lived during the Ediacaran period.

Oldest Fossilized Forest
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have unearthed an entire fossil forest dating back 385 million years.

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