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The ingredients for reactions ancestral to metabolism could have formed very easily in the primordial soup, new work suggests.
To recognize strange extraterrestrial life and solve biological mysteries on this planet, scientists are searching for an objective definition for life’s basic units.
Cosmic rays may have given right-handed genetic helixes an evolutionary edge at the beginning of life’s history.
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.
Origin-of-life researchers have usually studied the potential of pure starting materials, but messy mixtures of chemicals may kick-start life more effectively.
Evidence for life in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks appears to be crumbling away.
Life needs more than water alone. Recent discoveries suggest that plate tectonics has played a critical role in nourishing life on Earth. The findings carry major consequences for the search for life elsewhere in the universe.
A series of fossil finds suggests that life on Earth started earlier than anyone thought, calling into question a widely held theory of the solar system’s beginnings.