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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
Ocean Dead Zones Challenged Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Previously, scientists believed that the oceans became oxygen-rich about 600 million years ago. However, new research shows that the oceans experienced an 'oxygen-poor' period around 499 million years ago - soon after animals appeared. The study could provide new clues about how Earth's biosphere and climate are connected.

Building the Components of Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A team of researchers has constructed artificial proteins that enable the growth of living cells. The achievement could help scientists 'build' new biological systems, and provide new information about the origin and evolution of life.

Skeletons in the Pre-Cambrian Closet
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers are studying some of the earliest skeletons in order to better understand the ancient advancement of animal life.

Keeping Your Enemies Closer
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Studying the way in which bacteria incorporate foreign DNA from invading viruses into their own regulatory processes is revealing secrets of one of nature's most primitive immune systems. The research provides new insight into the evolution of life on our planet.

Invasive Species Linked to Mass Extinction
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers studying an ancient collapse of Earth's marine life have shown that invasive species can disturb the natural process of new species formation and trigger mass extinctions. The study provides information about the processes that affect the evolution of Earth's biosphere.

The Great Oxidation Event Seen in Genomic Fossils
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Computational biologists have used modern-day genomes to reconstruct the evolution of ancient microbes. The study provides new insight into the evolution of ancient life on Earth.

The Day the Algae Died
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
The P-T mass extinction may have been instigated by populations of algae dying. According to one group of scientists, this die-off of large numbers of relatively simple life forms caused a crash in the ocean's entire food web.

Warm Start for Life?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research shows that temperature has a greater effect on the rate of some chemical reactions than previously thought. The study indicates that certain reactions necessary for life could have happened faster on a warm Earth, reducing the time necessary for evolution to occur.

How Cacti Escape the Heat
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A small cactus is teaching scientists about a unique evolutionary mechanisms that plants can use to thrive in harsh environments. The study provides insight into the adaptability of life, and could help astrobiologists understand how some ecosystems might react to global warming.

When Mammals Became Mammoth
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study demonstrates that the extinction of the dinosaurs paved the way for a dramatic increase in the size of mammals. The work provides new information about how ecosystems 'reset' after mass extinctions.

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