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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
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.

Life Likes Nickel
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have determined that nickel could be used to identify the presence of methane-producing microbes on the early Earth. During the process of methanogenesis, microbes cause changes in the isotope fractionation of nickel. Such changes could be used as a biomarker to determine when methanogenic microbes first appeared on our planet.

Excluding Enzymes
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have created new materials that assemble and disassemble in a way similar to DNA. The materials are constructed from molecules that would be expected to exist on the primordial Earth, and could help answer questions about the origin of life.

Timetree of Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
The Timetree of Life project is now providing scientists with easy access to information about when living species and their ancestors originated. The resource could prove useful for astrobiologists studying the origin and evolution of life on Earth.

Doubting the Dinosaur-Bird Connection
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
New research is casting doubts about the connections between dinosaurs and birds. The results indicate that although birds and dinosaurs may have shared a common ancestor, birds did not directly descend from dinosaurs. The study sheds new light on the processes behind the evolution of life on Earth.

The Search for Life on Earth
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A great deal of money and effort have gone into searching for life on other worlds. But what if a second genesis of life, a type of life unrelated to DNA-based life, is here on Earth? Paul Davies urges the scientific community to take a look.

Preserved Proteins
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have discovered an ancient protein preserved in the 80 million-year-old bones of a dinosaur. The protein will provide scientists with a truly unique look into the evolutionary history of life on our planet.

Darwin in a Test Tube
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have discovered a way to make molecules evolve and compete according to the laws of Darwinian evolution. The results of their research shed light on how life can evolve at the molecular level and may provide clues about how life on Earth originated from simple molecules.

New Blow for Asteroid-Extinction Theory
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have long believed that the Chicxulub crater in the northern Yucutan was evidence of a massive, extra-terrestrial impact that signaled the end of the dinosaurs. A new study indicates that this may not be the case. In fact, the dinosaurs may not have gone extinct until 300,000 years after the Chicxulub impact.

Reanimating Extinct Genes
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Can evolution be played over again in the lab? A group of researchers plans to insert an ancient gene in a modern day bacteria and see if this gene will mutate back to its current-day form. The results will give insight into how unique the evolutionary path may be.

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