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Hot Topic Origins Origin & Evolution of Life
Biologists Measure Evolution's 'Big Bang'
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study has estimated the rates of evolution during the 'Cambrian explosion' between 540 and 530 million years ago. The study could help answer a question in evolution known as 'Darwin's dilemma.'

Hydrogen Cyanide and Life's Origin
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Studies show that hydrogen cyanide, which is found in large quantities in the Universe, can contribute to amino acid formation. Now, a new technique is helping scientists study all the thousands of molecules that can form from hydrogen cyanide reactions in the laboratory.

Oldest Land Animal Fossil Found
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Scientists have discovered the oldest known land-living animal from Gondwana. In a remote South African location, they uncovered a 350 million year old fossilized scorpion.

Membranes Have Beautiful and Mysterious Patterns
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Many important processes for sustaining life take place in the membrane that surrounds biological cells. Now, researchers have discovered that membranes can also contain beautiful, mysterious patterns.

How Fast Can That Bacterium Grow?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
According to the second law of thermodynamics, the Universe is only becoming more disordered over time. So how do highly ordered living cells fit in? A new study examines the theoretical threshold for how much heat a cell must generate in order to conform to the law.

'Near Optimal' Genetic Code
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study provides clues about how RNA signaling may have developed into the modern 'genetic code.' The research could help astrobiologists understand the origin of life.

We All May Be Martians
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study supports the theory that life on Earth could have started on Mars. The results also indicate that conditions suitable for the origin of life may still exist on the red planet.

The Shocking Source for Life's Origins
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
A new study indicates that icy comets impacting the early Earth may have produced building blocks for life on our planet. Impact events could have supplied the energy to form organic compounds from simple molecules in comets, such as water, ammonia and methanol.

Studying 4-Billion-Year-Old Fossil Proteins
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
By analyzing the structures of Precambrian proteins, scientists are shedding light on how and when the evolution of 3D protein structures arose.

Serpentinization of Ocean Crust, Life’s Mother Engine?
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Astrobiologists have advanced a theory about life’s origins based on the idea of “reservoir-mediated energy.” It involves cells constantly filling up and depleting a chemical reservoir that is created by pushing a lot more protons onto one side of a membrane than the other.

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