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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
Roundworms From the Primordial Ooze
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new book outlines the history, origin and evolution of the nematode, or roundworm. Nematodes have been around for at least 400 million years, play a key role in soil biology and help support much of the planet and animal life on Earth.

Microbial Conversations
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have developed a new method to visualize microbial interactions. The research could have numerous implications in studying microbial life on Earth and beyond.

The Drama within a Drop of Seawater
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
By analyzing seawater, scientists have unlocked information that may lead to a deeper understanding of a diverse range of organisms.

How the Hoyle State Made Life Possible
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
After decades without success, scientists have now calculated the Hoyle state. The Hoyle state is an energy-rich form of the carbon nucleus and is the key to understanding the fusion reaction that leads from helium gas to carbon. Without this type of carbon nucleus, life might not exist.

Parareptiles and the End-Permian Extinction
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research is helping astrobiologists understand the end-Permian extinction, a dramatic biological crisis that profoundly affected the history of life on Earth. However, the new data indicates that this major extinction event may not have been catastrophic for some organisms.

Hot Spring Horsetails Oldest Existing Land Plant
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Over 100 million years ago, the understory of forests was dominated by plants from the class Equisetopsida. Now, only one genus from this once-diverse group survives. Now, scientists believe that the horsetail may be the oldest genus of land plant on Earth today.

Cacti Stuck Around Due To Cool Dry Earth
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
The cactus is teaching scientists about the evolution of plant communities all over the world.

Lichens Two-Track Evolution
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research has outlined a case of convergent evolution in two lichen species from separate continents. The study is helping scientists understand mechanisms behind the evolution of life.

How Water Shapes DNA
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research shows that water molecules could actually influence the structure of DNA. The finding could provide clues about how DNA originated, and how it functions in modern cells.

Fossils Provide New Look at Ancient Climate
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Fifty million-year-old fossils from ancestors of today's dugongs are helping scientists understand the temperature and composition of the waters in which they swam. The study is providing new information about climate change events, both ancient and modern.

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