Origins

  • News_Image_65
    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.
    more...
  • News_Image_61
    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
    more...
  • News_Image_60
    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
    more...
  • 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
    more...
  • 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.
    more...
  • News_Image_20
    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.
    more...
  • Darwin in a Test Tube
    Scientists have discovered a way to make molecules evolve and compete according to the laws of Darwinian evolution. The results of their research shed light on how life can evolve at the molecular level and may provide clues about how life on Earth originated from
    more...
  • New Blow for Asteroid-Extinction Theory
    Scientists have long believed that the Chicxulub crater in the northern Yucutan was evidence of a massive, extra-terrestrial impact that signaled the end of the dinosaurs. A new study indicates that this may not be the case. In fact, the dinosaurs may not have gone
    more...
  • Reanimating Extinct Genes
    Can evolution be played over again in the lab? A group of researchers plans to insert an ancient gene in a modern day bacteria and see if this gene will mutate back to its current-day form. The results will give insight into how unique the
    more...
  • News_Image_9
    Researchers have discovered unusual microorganisms living in ancient water buried beneath an Antarctic glacier. The microbes could help us understand how life adapts to survive in extreme conditions. They may also provide clues about how life could survive on other locations in our solar system,
    more...
  • Better Living Through Chemistry
    A new study on the harsh environment of deep-sea mud volcanoes is shedding light on how life might have survived on the early Earth, or could survive on other planets. The study was performed in the Gulf of Mexico where seafloor vents spew mud, oil,
    more...
  • How Life Shatters Chemistry’s Mirror
    Handedness, or "chirality," is when molecules come in two forms that are mirror images of each other, like right- and left-handed gloves. Even though chiral molecules are produced equally in nature, life seems to prefer one hand over the other. The reason for
    more...
  • Sponges are Separate
    Scientists have managed to explain the relationships between certain animal groups that appeared early in evolutionary history. The study is helping scientists reconstruct the "Tree of Life" on Earth.
    more...
  • Big Fish are Toast
    A new study pinpoints why large, bony fish suffered heavily during the last mass extinction 65 million years ago. The results are helping scientists understand the evolutionary processes behind life's history on our planet.
    more...
  • Rewriting the DNA Alphabet
    Scientists have presented an artificial genetic system using a type of DNA with 12 chemical letters instead of the usual four. The technology is shedding light on the origins of life on Earth, and could be used to personalize medicine for millions of patients.
    more...