Origins

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    A new discovery in Australia indicates that many different kinds of dinosaurs shared burrowing behaviors. Digging dinosaurs from diverse species could be found in different regions of the world and over millions of years spanning the Cretacous Period. The research is helping scientists understand how
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    Microbes from the ocean have been shown to process methane in ways that were previously unknown. The discovery could help astrobiologists understand how the early biosphere of Earth interacted with our planet's atmosphere.
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    Mars is not for the finicky. If something does live there, it's likely going to be similar to the more adaptive life forms on our planet. A group of researchers is studying a particular microbe that they think could be a model for Mars life.
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    One of the most pivotal moments in the history of Earth's biosphere occurred 540 million years ago when the diversity of complex, multi-cellular life exploded all over the globe. Now, researchers believe they have discovered the trigger for the Cambrian Explosion.
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    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.
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    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
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    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.
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    A bacterium recovered from beneath three kilometers of glacial ice in Greenland may hold clues as to how life could exist on other planets. Astrobiologists are now studying the unique organism, which has been isolated under ice for over 120,000 years.
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    A team of researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute conducted the first field test earlier this year of a new configuration of Deep-ESP. The device is designed to perform long-term studies of how deep-sea ecosystems respond to environmental changes.
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    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.
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    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
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    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
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  • Erupting with Life
    Scientists have been studying a unique undersea volcano that appears to be continuously active and supports unique biological communities. The site, dubbed NW Rota-1, is located near the Island of Guam and is helping astrobiologist understand how life can thrive under extreme conditions in the
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  • Outer Space Oreos
    Scientists have previously exposed organisms and biomolecules to the many rigors of space, but those experiments only managed to take "before" and "after" pictures of their samples. A planned small satellite will monitor on a continuous basis the negative effects of space on biology.
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    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.
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