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origins of life

Photo of raindrops on a window by Philip Kraaijenbrink
Abstractions blog

Droplets That ‘Come to Life’

Life might have originated in droplets that behave surprisingly like living cells.

Illustration: Dividing Droplets

Dividing Droplets Could Explain Life’s Origin

Researchers have discovered that simple “chemically active” droplets grow to the size of cells and spontaneously divide, suggesting they might have evolved into the first living cells.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Time Through an LCD Display’

Insights about time’s arrow from a liquid crystal universe.

insights puzzle

Seeing Time Through a Liquid Crystal Display

What insights can an LCD display give us about time’s arrow?

Abstractions blog

A New Step in Re-Creating First Life on Earth

An RNA molecule that can make copies of a variety of RNAs adds new support to the RNA-world theory.

Abstractions blog

Faster Evolution on a Warmer Earth

When life first emerged roughly 4 billion years ago, DNA may have been a much more malleable molecule.

Abstractions blog

Interstellar Find Adds Life to Old Debate

Figuring out how these molecules form in the deep recesses of interstellar space might illuminate the origins of one of life’s distinguishing features.


In Warm, Greasy Puddles, the Spark of Life?

The biologist David Deamer proposes that life evolved from a collection of interacting molecules, probably in a pool in the shadow of a volcano.

origins of life

How to Build Life in a Pre-Darwinian World

Perhaps chemistry played a more instrumental role in the origin of life than scientists thought.