Results tagged “origin of life”

Uncovering how the first biological molecules (like proteins and DNA) arose is a major goal for researchers attempting to solve the origin of life.

A famous experiment in 1953 showed that amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, could have formed spontaneously under the atmospheric conditions of early Earth.

Tiny gas-filled bubbles in the porous rock found around hot springs are thought to have played an important role in the origin of life.

Structures inside rare bacteria are similar to those that power photosynthesis in plants today, suggesting the process is older than assumed.

Though it remains unknown how life began, there is a community of scientists who suspect it occurred in or around deep sea hydrothermal environments.

Inspired by the processes of cellular differentiation observed in developmental biology, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Bristol have demonstrated a new spontaneous approach to building communities of cell-like entities (protocells) using chemical gradients.

The ocean as we understand it today was shaped by a global evolutionary regime shift around 170 million years ago, according to new research.

A team of international scientists--including researchers at the University of St. Andrews, Syracuse University and Royal Holloway, University of London--have demonstrated a new source of food for early life on the planet.

On early earth, a series of spontaneous events needed to happen in order for life as we know it to begin. One of those phenomena is the formation of compartments enclosed by lipid membranes.

Three and a half billion years ago Earth hosted life, but was it barely surviving, or thriving? A new study carried out by a multi institutional team with leadership including the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) of Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) provides new answers to this question.

A new study has revealed how a group of deep-sea microbes provides clues to the evolution of life on Earth, according to a recent paper in The ISME Journal.

One of the most fundamental unexplained questions in modern science is how life began. Scientists generally believe that simple molecules present in early planetary environments were converted to more complex ones that could have helped jumpstart life by the input of energy from the environment.

Microbes could have performed oxygen-producing photosynthesis at least one billion years earlier in the history of the Earth than previously thought.

Estimates of the time at which life arose on Earth make use of two types of evidence. First, astrophysical and geophysical studies provide a timescale for the formation of Earth and the Moon, for large impact events on early Earth, and for the cooling of the early magma ocean.

In 1924, Russian biochemist Alexander Oparin claimed that life on Earth developed through gradual chemical changes of organic molecules, in the "primordial soup" which likely existed on Earth four billion years ago.

Why Life on Earth First Got Big

Some of the earliest complex organisms on Earth - possibly some of the earliest animals to exist - got big not to compete for food, but to spread their offspring as far as possible.

Research has shown that reactions of alpha-hydroxy acids, similar to the alpha-amino acids that make up modern proteins, form large polymers easily under conditions presumed prevalent on early Earth.

Scientists have created a new type of genetic replication system which demonstrates how the first life on Earth - in the form of RNA - could have replicated itself.

Brewing Up Earth's Earliest Life

Around 4 billion years ago, Earth was an inhospitable place, devoid of oxygen, bursting with volcanic eruptions, and bombarded by asteroids, with no signs of life in even the simplest forms.

A 2-billion-year-old chunk of sea salt provides new evidence for the transformation of Earth's atmosphere into an oxygenated environment capable of supporting life as we know it.

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