Origin of Life

Origin of Life News -- ScienceDaily Research into the origin of life. Learn how certain small molecule interactions may have been responsible for the life itself. You will find scientific theories and findings here.

  • From cradle to grave: Factors that shaped evolution
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    This study brings us closer to knowing the complex interactions between topography and climate change, and how these factors influence the evolutionary histories and biodiversity of species in natural ecosystems. […]

  • Evidence of Salmonella Paratyphi C found for the first time in medieval northern Europe
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Genome research suggests that enteric fever, a potentially lethal disease more commonly found in hot countries, was present in medieval Europe. Salmonella Paratyphi C causes enteric fever, a life-threatening infection, and has been detected in a 800 year old human skeleton discovered in Trondheim, Norway. […]

  • Billion-year-old lake deposit yields clues to Earth's ancient biosphere
    on July 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    A sample of ancient oxygen, teased out of a 1.4-billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario, provides fresh evidence of what the Earth's atmosphere and biosphere were like during the interval leading up to the emergence of animal life. […]

  • Research on British teeth unlocks potential for new insights into ancient diets
    on July 17, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Goofy, yellow and crooked: British smiles have sometimes had a less-than-flattering international image, but a new study has put tartar from our infamously bad teeth to good use. Researchers analysing the teeth of Britons from the Iron Age to the modern day have unlocked the potential for using proteins in tooth tartar to reveal what our ancestors ate. […]

  • The ancient armor of fish -- scales -- provide clues to hair, feather development
    on July 17, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    How do scale patterns on fish provide understanding of the development of feathers, fur -- and even cancer? Biologists are investigating. […]

  • Fuzzy yellow bats reveal evolutionary relationships in Kenya
    on July 12, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    DNA analysis of fuzzy yellow bats in Kenya revealed at least two new species unknown to science. It's important because Africa's biodiversity is often under-studied and poorly understood, even though bats play a crucial role in agriculture and public health. […]

  • Scientists discover Earth's youngest banded iron formation in western China
    on July 11, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    The discovery of Earth's youngest-ever banded iron formation is changing how scientists understand the evolution of complex life. […]

  • Humans did not stem from a single ancestral population in one region of Africa
    on July 11, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    A scientific consortium has found that human ancestors were scattered across Africa, and largely kept apart by a combination of diverse habitats and shifting environmental boundaries, such as forests and deserts. Millennia of separation gave rise to a staggering diversity of human forms, whose mixing ultimately shaped our species. […]

  • Scientists discover the world's oldest colors
    on July 9, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Scientists have discovered the oldest colors in the geological record, 1.1-billion-year-old bright pink pigments extracted from rocks deep beneath the Sahara desert in Africa. […]

  • Jumping genes: Cross species transfer of genes has driven evolution
    on July 9, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Far from just being the product of our parents, scientists have now shown that widespread transfer of genes between species has radically changed the genomes of today's mammals, and been an important driver of evolution. […]

  • Ancient DNA testing solves 100-year-old controversy in Southeast Asian prehistory
    on July 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Two competing theories about the human occupation of Southeast Asia have been debunked by groundbreaking analysis of ancient DNA extracted from 8,000-year-old skeletons. […]

  • Ancient genome analyses reveal mosaic pattern of goat domestication thousands of years ago
    on July 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Goat domestication was a mosaic -- not a singular -- process, with capture from the wild impacting genetic diversity in different regions of the Fertile Crescent. These wild populations have left different genetic legacies in Asian, African and European populations today. Farmers were selecting specific traits in goats such as coat color and production ability as early as 8,000 years ago. […]

  • First dogs in the Americas arrived from Siberia, disappeared after European contact
    on July 5, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    A new study offers an enhanced view of the origins and ultimate fate of the first dogs in the Americas. The dogs were not domesticated North American wolves, as some have speculated, but likely followed their human counterparts over a land bridge that once connected North Asia and the Americas, the study found. […]

  • Our human ancestors walked on two feet but their children still had a backup plan
    on July 4, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    More than 3 million years ago, our ancient human ancestors, including their toddler-aged children, were standing on two feet and walking upright, according to a new study. […]

  • Stability of Earth: Scientists propose solution to 'Gaia puzzle'
    on July 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Scientists may have solved a long-standing puzzle over why conditions on Earth have remained stable enough for life to evolve over billions of years. […]

  • World's first animals likely caused global warming
    on July 2, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    The evolution of Earth's first animals more than 500 million years ago caused global warming, new research shows. […]

  • The evolution of testes
    on June 28, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    The fossil record preserves predominantly vestiges of hard structures such as bones or teeth. Consequently, resolving the evolution of soft-tissue structures such as muscle or brain tissue requires analytical methods. Researchers now provide a new approach to resolve the evolution of soft-tissue structures, focusing on the evolution of testes in mammals. […]

  • Tropical 'banana eater' birds lived in North America 52 million years ago
    on June 26, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    A fossil of an ancestor of modern tropical birds has been found in North America, proving they also used to live in the Northern Hemisphere, say scientists. […]

  • Why life on Earth first got big
    on June 25, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Some of the earliest complex organisms on Earth -- possibly some of the earliest animals to exist -- got big not to compete for food, but to spread their offspring as far as possible. […]

  • First ancient syphilis genomes decoded
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    An international research team has recovered the first historic genomes from the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis. It was previously not thought possible to recover DNA of this bacterium from ancient samples. In the study, the researchers were able to distinguish genetically between the subspecies of the disease that cause syphilis and that cause yaws, which are not readily distinguishable in skeletal remains. […]

  • Strange sponge-like fossil creature from half a billion years ago
    on June 20, 2018 at 3:08 am

    A discovery of a new species of sponge-like fossil from the Cambrian Period sheds light on early animal evolution. […]

  • 22,000-year-old panda from cave in Southern China belongs to distinct, long-lost lineage
    on June 18, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Researchers who've analyzed ancient mitochondrial (mt)DNA isolated from a 22,000-year-old panda found in Cizhutuo Cave in the Guangxi Province of China -- a place where no pandas live today -- have revealed a new lineage of giant panda. The report shows that the ancient panda separated from present-day pandas 144,000 to 227,000 years ago, suggesting that it belonged to a distinct group not found today. […]

  • New technique provides accurate dating of ancient skeletons
    on June 18, 2018 at 12:44 am

    A new way of dating skeletons by using mutations in DNA associated with geography will avoid the difficulties and inaccuracies sometimes associated with existing dating methods. The technique will enable a better understanding of historical developments from the beginning of the Neolithic period, through the Bronze and Iron Ages. […]

  • For 100 million years, amber freezes a tableau of tick's worst day ever
    on June 13, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    This is the first time this kind of interaction between ticks and spiders has been documented in the fossil record. Even though ticks aren't a typical staple of spider diets, spiders can occasionally prey on ticks in modern ecosystems. […]

  • Scientists discover a new way to find mass extinctions
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    During the history of the Earth, there were many mass extinctions, when huge numbers of species died out. They are usually easy to identify because of the sudden extinctions, followed by a gap, and then the recovery of life. […]

  • Simple chemical process that may have led to the origin of life on Earth
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Research has shown that reactions of alpha-hydroxy acids, similar to the alpha-amino acids that make up modern proteins, form large polymers easily under conditions presumed prevalent on early Earth. These alpha-hydroxy acid polymers may have aided in the formation of living systems on early Earth. […]

  • Oldest bubonic plague genome decoded
    on June 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    An international team has analyzed two 3,800-year-old Y. pestis genomes that suggest a Bronze Age origin for bubonic plague. The study shows that this strain is the oldest sequenced to date that contains the virulence factors considered characteristic of the bubonic plague and is ancestral to the strain that caused the Black Death. […]

  • First tetrapods of Africa lived within the Devonian Antarctic Circle
    on June 7, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    The first African fossils of Devonian tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates) show these pioneers of land living within the Antarctic circle, 360 million years ago. […]

  • Two ancient populations that diverged later 'reconverged' in the Americas
    on May 31, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    A new genetic study of ancient individuals in the Americas and their contemporary descendants finds that two populations that diverged from one another 18,000 to 15,000 years ago remained apart for millennia before mixing again. This historic ;reconvergence; occurred before or during their expansion to the southern continent. […]

  • Scientists rethink co-evolution of marine life, oxygenated oceans
    on May 31, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Researchers have confirmed that rising oceanic and atmospheric oxygen levels co-evolved with marine life hundreds of millions of years ago. […]