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Cycling Nitrogen
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: New research shows that the large-scale evolution of microorganisms was completed 2.5 billion years ago. This included the ability of microorganisms to process nitrogen – an evolutionary step that has had long-lasting effects on the environment and the evolution of all life on Earth.

Follow the Elements
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: Life needs more than liquid water to survive. Organisms also need important chemical elements. Researchers are now studying the distribution of these elements on Earth to determine how they affect the distribution and evolution of life.

Latitudes and Attitudes of Microbes
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: New studies show that temperature, not productivity, drives bacterial diversity. The finding is changing our understanding about the conditions that affect how organisms inhabit specific environments.

Life's Power Source
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: Scientists have discovered marine organisms that perform photosynthesis in a way not previously thought possible. The finding may change the way in which we view photosynthesis' role in supporting life on Earth and maintaining the planet's global climate.

Oxygen's One-Two Punch
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: At two distinct points in history, increases in oxygen and oxidation of deep oceans may have impacted the spread of complex organisms. The two events - occurring 635 and 551 million years ago - highlight the connection between the environment of Earth and the evolution of life.

Bacteria Take Earth's Temperature
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: By reconstructing proteins from ancient organisms, scientists have discovered that the Earth underwent a massive period of cooling between 3.5 billion and 500 million years ago. The finding highlights how the evolution of life on Earth is intricately linked to the planet's climate.

Weird Water
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: Liquid water is essential for life as we know it, and the water molecule has many characteristics that scientists have long thought were unique. Now, scientists are studying a new hypothetical 'model molecule' that behaves much like water in computer simulations.

Bouncing Back from the Brink
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: New research shows that it took at least 30 million years for ecological systems on Earth to fully recover after the most devastating extinction event in the planet's history.

Under a Green Sky
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: In Peter Ward´s newest book, "Under a Green Sky," he explains how global warming has led to the loss of life throughout Earth´s history. In this interview, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson talks with Ward about the many ways the Earth tries to kill us.

Extinction Theory Falls From Favor
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: A new study casts doubt on the theory that an asteroid or meteor impact caused the greatest mass extinction in Earth's history. The research shows that environmental stress due to global warming and volcanic eruptions may have been the culprit.

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