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Latest Abiogenesis Stories

2012-05-14 10:22:52

NEW YORK, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University, announced to The Jeffrey Epstein Foundation, its main sponsor, that its staff were closer to understanding the link between chemical kinetics and when life takes over. "Prelife morphs into life when replication occurs," Martin Novak asserted, Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics and Professor of Mathematics and Biology at Harvard. "There are many attributes necessary for life," he...

Is The Possibly Of New Life Forms Really So Alien?
2012-05-09 07:44:18

The idea of discovering a new form of life has not only excited astronomers and astrobiologists for decades, but also the wider public. The notion that we are the only example of a successful life form in the galaxy has, for many, seemed like an unlikely statistic, as we discover more and more habitable planetary bodies and hear yet more evidence of life's ability to survive in extreme conditions. A new essay, published May 8 in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology, examines what...

Researchers Create Synthetic DNA/RNA That Can Evolve
2012-04-20 07:04:05

Researchers have created artificial genetic material known as Xenonucleic acids, or XNAs, that can store information and evolve over generations in a comparable way to DNA. The research, reported Friday in the journal Science, has implications for the fields of molecular medicine and biotechnology, and sheds new light on how molecules first replicated and assembled into life billions of years ago. Living systems owe their existence to the information-carrying molecules DNA and...

2012-04-02 09:52:10

Complex organic compounds, including many important to life on Earth, were readily produced under conditions that likely prevailed in the primordial solar system. Scientists at the University of Chicago and NASA Ames Research Center came to this conclusion after linking computer simulations to laboratory experiments. Fred Ciesla, assistant professor in geophysical sciences at UChicago, simulated the dynamics of the solar nebula, the cloud of gas and dust from which the sun and the planets...

41367_web
2012-03-14 11:08:41

In the beginning — of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building workbench — there were ribonucleic acids, the molecules we call RNA that today perform a host of vital functions in cells. And according to a new analysis, even before the ribosome's many working parts were recruited for protein synthesis, proteins also were on the scene and interacting with RNA. This finding challenges a long-held hypothesis about the early evolution of life. The study appears in the journal PLoS...

2012-03-12 20:00:01

In the beginning — of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building workbench — there were ribonucleic acids, the molecules we call RNA that today perform a host of vital functions in cells. And according to a new analysis, even before the ribosome's many working parts were recruited for protein synthesis, proteins also were on the scene and interacting with RNA. This finding challenges a long-held hypothesis about the early evolution of life. The "RNA world" hypothesis, first...

The Blue Planet's New Water Budget
2012-03-06 04:28:52

Investigating the history of water on Earth is critical to understanding the planet's climate. One central question is whether Earth has always had the same amount of water on and surrounding it, the same so-called "water budget". Has Earth gained or lost water from comets and meteorites? Has water been lost into space? New research into the Earth's primordial oceans conducted by researchers at the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen and Stanford University...

2012-02-16 14:51:00

Sugars give rise to enormous biochemical interest given the importance and diversity of the functions they carry out: they act as an energy storage system and serve as fuel for a number of biological systems; they form part of DNA and of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and, moreover, play a key role in cell processes. Recently interest in sugars has also been increasingly attracting the attention of cosmochemistry, more concretely, in the search for the fundamental matter of the origin of life in...

2012-01-19 13:24:33

Mechanism of evolution of the primordial metabolism discovered Volcanic-hydrothermal flow channels offer a chemically unique environment, which at first glance appears hostile to life. It is defined by cracks in the crust of the earth, through which water flows, laden with volcanic gases are contacting a diversity of minerals. And yet — it is precisely this extreme environment, where the two mechanisms could have emerged, which are at the root of all life: The multiplication of...

2012-01-13 14:53:07

An international team of scientists led by University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Professor Ralf I. Kaiser, Alexander M. Mebel of Florida International University, and Alexander Tielens of Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, discovered a novel chemical route to form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — complex organic molecules such as naphthalene carrying fused benzene rings — in ultra-cold regions of interstellar space. The team announced their findings in the January...