A Massive Asteroid Strike Could Have Sparked Life On Earth

By using lasers to simulate the impact of a large meteor with primordial Earth, researchers have shown how the atom bomb-like collisions might have reconstituted ordinary molecules into the early building blocks of life. » 12/09/14 10:40am 12/09/14 10:40am

Earth's First Animals Barely Needed Any Oxygen

There's a longstanding theory which says oxygen-rich oceans were a key requirement for complex life to emerge on Earth. But a new study involving sea sponges upsets this notion, showing that primitive animals may have been able to survive with hardly any oxygen at all. » 2/18/14 9:00am 2/18/14 9:00am

The most important moment in the evolution of life

There's a fundamental mystery at the core of our evolution. No, it's not how we went from fuzzy shrews to humans — it's how bacteria made the jump from single-celled existence to something more complex. The weird part is that evolutionary jump only happened once. » 2/06/14 4:59pm 2/06/14 4:59pm

Physicist proposes a thermodynamic explanation for the origins of life

A 31-year-old researcher from MIT believes he's figured out the basic physics behind the origin and evolution of life in the universe, a provocative new theory of life that borrows heavily from 19th century science. » 1/23/14 12:40pm 1/23/14 12:40pm

Did life on Earth emerge from clay?

There's a longstanding theory that life first emerged in pools of water. But if scientists from Cornell are correct, it may have first taken root inside of clay. » 11/06/13 12:40pm 11/06/13 12:40pm

Mars could have developed life more quickly than Earth

Nobody is sure how life emerged from the primordial chemistry of Earth. But now we have more evidence that Earthlike life could have evolved on Mars. » 9/01/13 1:14pm 9/01/13 1:14pm

That meteorite which blew-up over California last April is one of the…

This past April, a 100,000 pound (45,360 kg) meteorite exploded above the skies of Sutter's Mill, California. Streaking in at a speed of 64,000 miles per hour (103,000 km/hr or 28.6 km/s) — about twice the speed of typical meteorite falls — it hit with the energy of a quarter of a Hiroshima bomb, making it the… » 12/21/12 8:40am 12/21/12 8:40am

This Sun-like star is surrounded by sugar

A team of European and American astronomers have found signs of a simple sugar molecule, glycolaldehyde, in a gas cloud surrounding a young sun-like star. Located 400 light-years away, it's the first time that sugar has been located around such a celestial object — and this indicates that the early building blocks of… » 8/29/12 4:00pm 8/29/12 4:00pm

Chemist Discovers the Origins of Life in a Cardboard Box

In 1953, chemists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey created life. They filled flasks with water and gases from Earth’s primordial atmosphere and, with a jolt of electricity, created amino acids, the building blocks of all life on this planet. Last year, a former student of Miller’s discovered the remnants of the… » 10/17/08 8:40am 10/17/08 8:40am

Proto-DNA from Meteorites Kick-Started Life on Earth

How life got started on Earth is still a big problem for scientists. The story goes something like this: "Well, there was this primordial soup of amino acids and stuff, then maybe there was some lightning, or something, and then ::mumble, mumble:: and then we had life." Awkward! But that awkwardness may be over:… » 6/16/08 10:00am 6/16/08 10:00am