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Origin of Life News
July 12, 2020

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Evolution Makes the World Less Ragged

How does evolution impact ecological patterns? It helps smooth out the rough edges, say researchers. A new review of the history of ecological and evolutionary research establishes a framework to ...
Common domestic cats, as we know them today, might have accompanied Kazakh pastoralists as pets more than 1,000 years ago. This is indicated by new analyses done on an almost ...

First Evidence of Snake-Like Venom Glands Found in Amphibians

Caecilians are limbless amphibians that can be easily mistaken for snakes. Though caecilians are only distantly related to their reptilian cousins, researchers describe specialized glands found along ...

New Zealand's Ancient Monster Penguins Had Northern Hemisphere Doppelgangers

New Zealand's monster penguins that lived 62 million years ago had doppelgangers in Japan, the USA and Canada, a new study has ...
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Clues to a Dramatic Chapter of Earth's Geological History

How could the planet be covered entirely in ice -- a state known as 'Snowball Earth'-- and still give rise to multicellular life? The transition to such icy periods may not have been as ...

Remixed Mantle Suggests Early Start of Plate Tectonics

New research on the remixing of Earth's stratified deep interior suggests that global plate tectonic processes, which played a pivotal role in the existence of life on Earth, started to operate ...

Denisovan DNA Influences Immune System of Modern Day Oceanian Populations

More than 120,000 novel human genetic variations that affect large regions of DNA have been discovered, some of which are linked to immune response, disease susceptibility or ...

Tropical Disease in Medieval Europe Revises the History of a Pathogen Related to Syphilis

Plague was commonplace in medieval times, so finding its victims in a 15th century Lithuanian graveyard was no surprise. However, discovering one woman with a second disease, yaws -- a close relative ...

New Insight Into the Great Dying

The collapse of terrestrial ecosystems during Earth's most deadly mass extinction event was directly responsible for disrupting ocean chemistry, according to new ...

Ancient Origin for Key Hormone System: Sea Cucumbers

A key set of proteins that help regulate hormones necessary for many essential functions in humans and other vertebrates have ancient origins in much simpler creatures such as sea cucumbers, says a ...

Ancient Micrometeoroids Carried Specks of Stardust, Water to Asteroid 4 Vesta

Researchers have studied presolar materials that landed on a planet-like body. Their findings may help solve the mystery: where did all the water on Earth come ...

Evidence from rocks billions of years old suggest that volcanoes played a key role in the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere of the early ...

Ancient Asteroid Impacts Created the Ingredients of Life on Earth and Mars

A new study reveals that asteroid impact sites in the ocean may possess a crucial link in explaining the formation of the essential molecules for life. The study discovered the emergence of amino ...

Ancient DNA Provides New Insights Into the Early Peopling of the Caribbean

According to a new study by an international team of researchers from the Caribbean, Europe and North America, the Caribbean was settled by several successive population dispersals that originated on ...

Researchers investigated the earliest humans in Mesoamerica and how they adapted over time to new and changing environments, and how those changes have affected human life histories and ...

Ancient Genomes Link Subsistence Change and Human Migration in Northern China

Northern China is among the first centers in the world where agriculture developed, but its genetic history remains largely unknown. Researchers have now analyzed 55 ancient genomes from China, ...

World's Oldest Bug Is Fossil Millipede from Scotland

A 425-million-year-old millipede fossil from the Scottish island of Kerrera is the world's oldest 'bug' -- older than any known fossil of an insect, arachnid or other related ...

Erosion of Ozone Layer Responsible for Mass Extinction Event

Researchers have shown that an extinction event 360 million years ago, that killed much of the Earth's plant and freshwater aquatic life, was caused by a brief breakdown of the ozone layer that ...

Modern Problems, Primitive Solutions: A Glimpse Into Archaic Protein Synthesis Systems

The interaction between 'transfer RNAs' and the enzymes that help them in protein synthesis has always been the key area of interest for understanding the evolution of the genetic code. ...

Past Is Prologue: Genetic 'Memory' of Ancestral Environments Helps Organisms Readapt

Organisms carry long-term 'memories' of their ancestral homelands that help them adapt to environmental change, according to a new study that involved raising chickens on the Tibetan ...

How Cosmic Rays May Have Shaped Life

Physicists propose that the influence of cosmic rays on early life may explain nature's preference for a uniform 'handedness' among biology's critical ...

Probing Materials at Deep-Earth Conditions to Decipher Earth's Evolutionary Tale

Scientists have developed a way to study liquid silicates at the extreme conditions found in the core-mantle boundary. This could lead to a better understanding of the Earth's early molten days, ...

Early Humans Thrived in This Drowned South African Landscape

Scientists have reconstructed the paleoecology the Paleo-Agulhas Plain, a now-drowned landscape on the southern tip of Africa that was high and dry during glacial phases of the last 2 million years ...

Ancient Rocks Show High Oxygen Levels on Earth 2 Billion Years Ago

Earth may have been far more oxygen-rich early in its history than previously thought, setting the stage for the evolution of complex life, according to new ...

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