What's up in
origins of life
Peptides on Stardust May Have Provided a Shortcut to Life
The discovery that short peptides can form spontaneously on cosmic dust hints at more of a role for them in the earliest stages of life’s origin, on Earth or elsewhere.
At the Dawn of Life, Heat May Have Driven Cell Division
A mathematical model shows how a thermodynamic mechanism could have made protocells split in two.
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.
New Clues to Chemical Origins of Metabolism at Dawn of Life
The ingredients for reactions ancestral to metabolism could have formed very easily in the primordial soup, new work suggests.
What Is an Individual? Biology Seeks Clues in Information Theory.
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 Explain Life’s Bias for Right-Handed DNA
Cosmic rays may have given right-handed genetic helixes an evolutionary edge at the beginning of life’s history.
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.
Origin-of-Life Study Points to Chemical Chimeras, Not RNA
Origin-of-life researchers have usually studied the potential of pure starting materials, but messy mixtures of chemicals may kick-start life more effectively.