Origins

  • 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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  • 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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  • Em um eucarionte, o DNA está localizado no núcleo da célula. Uma molécula de DNA é composta por duas cadeias helicoidais espiraladas, cada uma composta por uma cadeia linear de açúcar e moléculas de fosfato. Crédito: MIT.
    Quando os cientistas começaram a classificar a vida, tudo foi designado como animal ou planta. Mas enquanto novas formas de vida eram descobertas, a classificação original não foi suficiente para organizar a diversidade e complexidade da vida.
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  • Bugs From Hell
    Geochemists and microbiologists are delving into the details of extreme biochemistry deep within the Earth, where chemical and metabolic processes go at glacial pace, and life appears to be completely disconnected from the photosynthesis-based biological cycles that dominate surface life.
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  • Life without Volcanic Heat
    An 18-story undersea vent off the Atlantic, near what has been called the 'Lost City', has recently revealed itself as ripe with exotic microbial life.
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  • One-Handed Life
    Scientists with the NASA Astrobiology Institute have created self-replicating molecules that produce only "left-handed molecules or only "right-handed molecules.The findings may help explain why life is based on left-handed amino acids.
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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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  • Café Methane
    In recent years, researchers discovered life also thrives in other, much colder, lightless deep-sea ecosystems besides hydrothermal vents.
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  • Eating Kerogen
    A team of researchers discovered that microorganisms in Kentucky's New Albany Shale are eating kerogen.
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  • Why Microbes Matter
    Research of possible microbial life on Mars can lead to advances in biotechnology and medicine.
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  • The Invasion of the Deep-sea Microbes
    The microscopic life around hydrothermal vents may have an ancient heritage -- genetic comparisons suggest that modern vent microbes are close kin to the earliest forms of life on Earth.
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  • Glass Munchers under the Sea
    A team of researchers recently announced that they have found the deepest-living microbes on the planet that eats into rock at the bottom of the sea floor
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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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  • Advances in our Understanding of Life
    Over the past two decades, advances in a number of scientific disciplines have helped us better understand the nature and evolution of life on Earth. These scientific developments also have helped lay the foundation for astrobiology, opening up new possibilities for the existence of life
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  • Life Down Under
    Recent work by Christopher Chyba (SETI Institute) and Kevin Hand (Stanford University) suggests that there may be ways to nourish biology in watery environments where the Sun's rays don't penetrate.
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