Origins

  • 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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  • How Small Can Life Be?
    As advanced microscopes enable us to peer deeper into the realms of inner space, biologists have been faced with a vexing question: Is there a size limit on life?
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  • Jurassic Spark: Early Ancestor of Mammals Found
    What is nearly 200 million years old, furry, weighed less than a paper clip and scurried beneath the feet of dinosaurs? A team of fossil-finders, led by researchers at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History, suggest the answer may include one of your relatives -
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  • Raising Baby Tubeworms
    For years scientists have wondered how giant red-tipped tubeworms and other exotic marine life found at hydrothermal vents get from place to place and how long their larva survive in a cold, eternally dark place. Now biologist Lauren Mullineaux and colleagues have helped answer
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  • Life’s Baby Steps
    Billions of years ago, amino acids somehow linked together to form chainlike molecules. Now scientists have discovered what may be a key step in this process - a step that has baffled researchers for more than a half a century.
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