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Fossilized Molecules Reveal a Lost World of Ancient Life
A new analysis of ancient sediments fills a gap in the fossil record — revealing a massive dynasty of ancient eukaryotes, which may have reigned for 800 million years and shaped the history of life of Earth.
Underground Cells Make ‘Dark Oxygen’ Without Light
In some deep subterranean aquifers, cells have a chemical trick for making oxygen that could sustain whole underground ecosystems.
Secrets of the Moon’s Permanent Shadows Are Coming to Light
Robots are about to venture into the sunless depths of lunar craters to investigate ancient water ice trapped there, while remote studies find hints about how water arrives on rocky worlds.
A Soil-Science Revolution Upends Plans to Fight Climate Change
A centuries-old concept in soil science has recently been thrown out. Yet it remains a key ingredient in everything from climate models to advanced carbon-capture projects.
Radioactivity May Fuel Life Deep Underground and Inside Other Worlds
New work suggests that the radiolytic splitting of water supports giant subsurface ecosystems of life on Earth — and could do it elsewhere, too.
Scientists Pin Down When Earth’s Crust Cracked, Then Came to Life
New data indicating that Earth’s surface broke up about 3.2 billion years ago helps clarify how plate tectonics drove the evolution of complex life.
Inside Deep Undersea Rocks, Life Thrives Without the Sun
Newly discovered worlds of microbes far beneath the ocean floor, inside old basaltic rocks, could point to a greater likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe.