Latest Abiogenesis Stories

2011-03-22 08:59:44

'Lost' samples from famous origin of life researcher could send the search for Earth's first life in a new direction Stanley Miller gained fame with his 1953 experiment showing the synthesis of organic compounds thought to be important in setting the origin of life in motion. Five years later, he produced samples from a similar experiment, shelved them and, as far as friends and colleagues know, never returned to them in his lifetime. More 50 years later, Jeffrey Bada, Miller's former student...

2011-03-01 08:25:00

Fragments from a meteorite found in the Antarctic strengthen the argument that the elements needed to begin life on earth could have come from outer space, claims a new study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences (PNAS). In the study, authors from Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, analyzed a nearly 4g sample of powder taken from a meteorite known as Grave Nunataks 95229, which according to BBC News Science Reporter...

2011-02-07 10:06:59

Discovery of inorganic, semipermeable clay vesicles indicates minerals could have played a key role in the origins of life A team of applied physicists at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Princeton, and Brandeis have demonstrated the formation of semipermeable vesicles from inorganic clay. The research, published online this week in the journal Soft Matter, shows that clay vesicles provide an ideal container for the compartmentalization of complex organic...

2010-12-02 14:09:55

New research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigating the effect of temperature on extremely slow chemical reactions suggests that the time required for evolution on a warm earth is shorter than critics might expect. There has been controversy about whether life originated in a hot or cold environment, and about whether enough time has elapsed for life to have evolved to its present complexity. But new research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill...

2010-10-05 08:36:57

Supercomputer simulations at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are helping scientists unravel how nucleic acids could have contributed to the origins of life. A research team led by Jeremy Smith, who directs ORNL's Center for Molecular Biophysics and holds a Governor's Chair at University of Tennessee, used molecular dynamics simulation to probe an organic chemical reaction that may have been important in the evolution of ribonucleic acids, or RNA, into early life...

2010-09-29 09:09:00

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Journal of Astrobiology, a peer reviewed scientific journal published by Cambridge University Press, has published "The Origin of the Vertebrate Skeleton," submitted by Synthetic Life Lab of New York City. It has been reprinted in Astrobiology Magazine, an official organ of NASA. The paper describes the origin of the human skeleton and the shapes of the component bones in sequential animations beginning with the fertilized...

2010-08-08 20:02:37

Several lines of evidence support the idea that life originated with molecules that lay between mica sheetsThat age-old question, "where did life on Earth start?" now has a new answer. If the life between the mica sheets hypothesis is correct, life would have originated between sheets of mica that were layered like the pages in a book.The so-called "life between the sheets" mica hypothesis was developed by Helen Hansma of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with funding from the...

2010-06-30 06:17:03

The nitrogen-dominated atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan, may provide clues to the origins of life. The first experimental evidence showing how atmospheric nitrogen can be incorporated into organic macromolecules is being reported by a University of Arizona team. The finding indicates what organic molecules might be found on Titan, the moon of Saturn that scientists think is a model for the chemistry of pre-life Earth. Earth and Titan are the only known planetary-sized bodies that have...

2010-05-25 09:22:26

Researchers at the University of Leeds have uncovered new clues to the origins of life on Earth. The team found that a compound known as pyrophosphite may have been an important energy source for primitive lifeforms. There are several conflicting theories of how life on Earth emerged from inanimate matter billions of years ago "“ a process known as abiogenesis. "It's a chicken and egg question," said Dr Terry Kee of the University of Leeds, who led the research. "Scientists are in...

2010-05-07 08:48:13

Emory scientists have discovered that simple peptides can organize into bi-layer membranes. The finding suggests a "missing link" between the pre-biotic Earth's chemical inventory and the organizational scaffolding essential to life. "We've shown that peptides can form the kind of membranes needed to create long-range order," says chemistry graduate student Seth Childers, lead author of the paper recently published by the German Chemical Society's Angewandte Chemie. "What's also interesting...

Word of the Day
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'