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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
Zinc and UV Zapped Life into Being?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new model for the origin of life says zinc may have played a vital role. If true, then the Sun´s UV radiation may have provided the energy necessary for life to arise.

Eating by Osmosis
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research shows that the oldest complex lifeforms on Earth likely fed by osmosis. The organisms lived in the oceans more than 540 million years ago and absorbed nutrients through their outer membrane. The study provides new insight into the evolution of life on Earth.

Endosymbiosis Timeline
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have discovered that a key moment in the evolution of life on Earth occurred when two ancient microbes fused together to form a new class of organisms. More than 2.5 billion years ago, endosymbiosis was responsible for the appearance of organisms that could perform photosynthesis - changing life on our planet forever.

Seeing Scary Spiders
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Using fossil specimens and new 3D models, researchers have identified early relatives of spiders that lived around 300 million years ago. The models allow scientists to see how the spiders where physically adapted to survive on ancient Earth.

The Rise and Fall of Species
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study shows that new species of life on Earth emerge just as often as they die out, and that most evolution occurs in small bursts. The research has implications in understanding the history of life on our planet and the evolutionary processes that will shape the biosphere's future on Earth.

Fresh Water Animals
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have long believed that animal evolution began in the ocean and that animals did not move to land until much later. New research may change this theory. Rock samples discovered in China could indicate that the first animal fossils known were actually preserved at the bottom of lakes - not oceans.

Evidence of Earth's Earliest Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have shown that some of the most ancient stromatolites on Earth contain evidence that they were built with the help of microorganisms. The findings add complexity to our understanding of early life on Earth and could even help in the search for signs of life on Mars.

Digging Dinosaur Burrows
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new discovery in Australia indicates that many different kinds of dinosaurs shared burrowing behaviors. Digging dinosaurs from diverse species could be found in different regions of the world and over millions of years spanning the Cretacous Period. The research is helping scientists understand how organisms on Earth adapted to climate change in our planet's past.

When Earth Turned Green
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
One of the most pivotal moments in the history of Earth's biosphere occurred 540 million years ago when the diversity of complex, multi-cellular life exploded all over the globe. Now, researchers believe they have discovered the trigger for the Cambrian Explosion.

Cooking Up Creation in a Computer
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
The Evogrid is a proposed computerized version of the primordial soup. Digitally simulating virtual particles could help answer the question of how life originated on Earth, and perhaps even spread life to other worlds.

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