Origins

  • Lord of Gondwanaland
    In an ancient time, what happens when a common water-hole brings together the most clever species on our planet with its apex predator? Welcome to the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland, where the largest vertebrate carnivore--the gorgon--battles its smartest foe yet--the cynodont.
    more...
  • Ice Diary 2: Great Scott, A Ghost
    The "Ice Diary" series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. In this chronicle, our explorers consider ghosts of pioneer trekkers like Robert
    more...
  • Ice Diary I: Shooting Stars on Ice
    The "Ice Diary" series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters at the South Pole. During the season when the sun never sets, this expedition series follows their quest step-by-step, as they chase astrobiology's most precious stones: the Martian samples.
    more...
  • Walking Before Flying?
    The history of the lowly insect known as the 'walking stick' offers a fascinating genetic study of evolution moving backwards and forwards, in what is commonly called Dollo's Law. A team of BYU biostatisticians discusses the challenge of finding out which came first: walking or
    more...
  • Jailhouse Rock
    The birthplace of life on Earth remains a controversial topic. A new hypothesis suggests that life originated in iron sulfide deposits at hydrothermal vents. These metal cells may have held the prebiotic chemicals of life captive.
    more...
  • Conan the Bacterium
    Radiation-resistant organism reveals its defense strategies is a ring of DNA, Weizmann Institute researchers report in Science
    more...
  • Weird Life on the Mats
    The fossil record is full of animals with bizarre body shapes. Do these extinct species represent failed evolutionary experiments, or were they simply well-adapted to an environment that no longer exists?
    more...
  • Evolution’s Sweet Tooth
    How did intelligence evolve? A scientist studying differences between humans and great apes may have found a biochemical step in that direction.
    more...
  • The Driest Place on Earth
    How much water does life need to survive? Chile's Atacama desert hold some interesting clues - clues that may help researchers in the hunt for life on Mars.
    more...
  • Millenium Life on Ice
    Peter Doran of the University of Illinois at Chicago and colleagues have uncovered an extreme lake -- and ancient microbes ---by drilling into Lake Vida, a Mars-like Antarctic environment. Remarkably the researchers revived viable microbes that are at least 2,800 years old.
    more...
  • Minimalist Life
    Microbiologist Karl Stetter travels the world hunting game, small game. In May, he revealed the discovery of a new archaean, at 400 nanometers so small it rides the surface of another merely normally small archaean.
    more...
  • Ripples in Time
    Until the last fifteen percent of the Earth's age, the continents were barren, lifeless wastelands. Life had yet to hit the shore. But a kind of molecular clock says the hands of time may have started ticking many billions of years earlier.
    more...
  • Stitching Together Green Genes
    How did photosynthesis arise? Astrobiologists at Arizona State University report in Science that five bacteria share enough commonality to create the current diversity of photosynthesizing chemistries but differ in how they got them.
    more...
  • Life from Scratch?
    As pioneers of the Human Genome Project announced their next target- life created de novo, or from a minimal genetic recipe- the debate heats up about what 'minimal' actually might mean when their prospective life forms start to take shape.
    more...
  • Surviving the Final Frontier
    Could life on Earth have spread to other planets? Or the other way around? An idea nearly 140 years old is resurfacing in a new form: microbes surviving space travel inside meteorites. Shielded from the intense radiation of the sun, dried out microbes could survive
    more...