Origin and evolution of life

  • Weird Life on the Mats
    Do extinct species represent failed evolutionary experiments? At least for some more closely related to today's crabs and lobsters, University of Southern California scientist David Bottjer says that if many such early animals look strange to us, it is not because they were strange.
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  • Cosmic Imperative for Life?
    Life began on Earth almost as soon as it was possible, almost as soon as the intense early bombardment by asteroids and comets tapered off and a stable environment emerged. Is this evidence for a chemical inevitability for spawning biology?
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  • Eukaryotic Origins: Revolution in the Classification of Life
    The most recent classification of all life on Earth includes three domains: Archaea, Bacteria (also called Eubacteria) and Eukarya, each of which contains a number of kingdoms.
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  • New Species and Understanding Earth
    Recognition of other worlds, of other ways of living, of being, of seeing, of thinking-that's regarded as a great moment in the history of our species, as great as leaving the oceans to come up on the land.
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  • Defining Life
    What is life, exactly? This is a question that keeps biologists up at night. The science of biology is the study of life, yet scientists can't agree on an absolute definition. What about a computer program that learns and evolves? Can a wild fire -
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  • The Cambrian Explosion: Tooth and Claw
    Scientists ponder the causes of the Cambrian explosion.
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  • A Pothole in the Road of Life
    Desert potholes may provide clues to the evolution of life on Earth.
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  • Unfamiliar Life
    Why should the particular polymer combinations of Earth reign supreme?
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  • Evolution’s Double Take
    The origin of hydrogenosomes has been debated for some time. Some researchers believe that hydrogenosomes have repeatedly evolved from mitochondria in the course of evolution.
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  • Genetic Alchemy: Turning Lobsters into Fruit Flies
    Biologists at the University of California, San Diego, now have genetic evidence that explains how such drastic alterations to body plans were able to occur during the early evolution of animals.
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  • Clues to the Last Common Ancestor
    Molecular detectives have traced human ancestry back to the so-called Mitochondrial Eve, the last female common ancestor. More recent research has posited a Y-chromosome Adam, the last male common ancestor.
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  • Uranus and Neptune – and the Origin of Life on Earth
    Constraints on the giant planets and birth aggregates of the solar system.
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  • The Three Domains of Life
    When scientists first started to classify life, everything was designated as either an animal or a plant. But as new forms of life were discovered, the original classification was not sufficient enough to organize the diversity and complexity of life.
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  • Test-tube RNA
    Research done by scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research offers insights into evolutionary origins of life.
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  • The Oldest Life on Land
    Fossilized remnants of a microbial mat provide evidence that life existed on land as early as 2.6 to 2.7 billion years ago. The findings suggest that an oxygen atmosphere and a protective ozone layer were in place around Earth by that time.
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