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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
Why Sea Lilies Walk
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research has shown that sea urchins have been preying on sea lilies for over 200 million years, and this interaction led to lilies developing the ability to creep along the ocean floor. The study provides a unique look into how organisms are able to evolve in response to environmental pressures over time.

Flipping the Amoeba
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A major step in the evolution of life occurred some 1.5 billion years ago when cells began storing their DNA inside a nucleus. Scientists are gaining new insights into this evolutionary leap from prokaryotes to eukaryotes by studying the genome of a unique, single-celled organism.

First Fossil-Makers in Hot Water
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Microbe mats in Yellowstone's hot springs may be living analogs of the primordial microbe communities that constructed the oldest rock fossils on Earth.

A Small Step in the RNA World
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have created an extremely small RNA molecule that can catalyze a key reaction needed to synthesize proteins, the building blocks of life. The team believes that their findings could shed light on life's early origins on Earth.

Life Stripped Down
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have discovered a ocean-dwelling microbe that survives with a remarkably reduced set of genes. Dubbed a 'metabolic minimalist', the unique cyanobacteria plays an important role in the global cycling of nitrogen on Earth.

Complex Ocean, Complex Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have developed a detailed and dynamic 3-D model of Earth's ocean chemistry 635-551 million years ago. The study could significantly advance our understanding of how early animal life evolved on the planet.

Bringing the Definition of 'Life' to Closure
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
In the search for life beyond Earth, we should not expect to find life forms we´re familiar with. Determining whether something completely alien is 'alive´ could be a challenge, so a universal definition of life is needed. Biologists have yet to agree on a definition, but a new theory attempts to provide a solution.

No Soup For You
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new paper may overturn ideas that life emerged from a 'primordial soup' of organic molecules before evolving out of the oceans millions of years later. The study asserts that hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor provided chemical energy to kick-start early life.

Gone With the Wind
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Biologists have discovered the secret to the evolutionary longevity of bdelloid rotifers. These organisms are able to avoid parasites by drying up until they are exposed to a fresh drop of water. These unique lifeforms are helping scientists understand the complexities of life on Earth and the various methods that organisms have evolved for survival.

Gators Breathe Like Birds
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
By studying how alligators breathe, scientists have drawn new connections between the reptiles and modern birds. Their breathing method may have helped the dinosaurs' ancestors dominate the planet after one of Earth's worst mass extinctions.

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