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Mix and Match Genes
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
02/03/09
Scientists studying a glowing bacterium that lives in both squid and fish have made an astonishing discovery about how bacteria is able to inhabit two different species. It comes down to a single gene that allows bacteria to change its host, highlights importance of genetic information in evolution of living organisms.

Lignin Launched Life to Land
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
01/28/09
The discovery of lignin in red alga cells is changing theories about the evolution of plants on Earth. Lignin, a principle component of wood, was identified in algae for the first time using powerful chemical and microscopic techniques.

Fiction´s Most Realistic Vision of Our Astrobiological Future?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
01/26/09
Visionary science writer Sir Arthur C Clarke, author of more than 100 books, died recently at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka. Once called ‘the first dweller in the electronic cottage´, his vision of an astrobiological future and its technology captured the popular imagination. In this essay from Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition, the science and culture of his novel, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is assessed.

Jawbone Tells Story of Evolution
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
01/21/09
The 410 million-year-old skull and jaws of a fish may yield important information about the origin and evolution of vertebrates on Earth.

Replicating RNA
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
01/11/09
Researchers have made steps toward understanding how life originated by synthesizing RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves without the help of additional molecules.

Linking Life's Elements
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
01/03/09
Researchers have unlocked new clues about how ancient organic molecules may have first combined to form biologically useful strands of RNA. This single-stranded precursor to DNA is essential for living cells, and some scientists believe the first life on Earth may have been RNA-based rather than DNA-based.

Astrobiology Top 10: The Spark of Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/30/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 4 is a re-examination of samples from a classic 'origin-of-life' experiment. The finding is that volcanoes may have played an important role in life's beginnings on Earth. (This story originally was published on October 19, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Ancient Footprints in the Salt
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/24/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 10 is the discovery of ancient organism remnants preserved in salt crystals. The surprising finding could help astrobiologists search for signs of life on other planets. (This story originally was published on July 31, 2008).

Looking at LUCA
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/21/08
Scientists may have characterized the common ancestor of all life on Earth, LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor). This 3.8-billion-year-old organism was not the creature usually imagined, and may change ideas about early life on Earth.

Bilateral Bubble Bodies
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/06/08
A single-celled organism has been found leaving tracks on the ocean floor that look like those from larger, multicellular organisms. The finding is causing scientists to re-think the fossil record - and the timing of when complex, bilateral organisms developed.

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