Tag Archives | Life


Primordial DNA could have appeared spontaneously, suggests new study

The self-organization properties of DNA-like molecular fragments four billion years ago may have guided their own growth into repeating chemical chains long enough to act as a basis for primitive life, say an international team of scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of University of Milan. A paper describing the intriguing […]

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Evolutionary biology could reveal a universal basis for morality

Recent developments in science appear to indicate that the emergence of life in general and perhaps even rational life, with its associated technological culture, may be common throughout the Universe. Now, a new paper appearing in the journal Space Policy suggests this universal tendency toward complexity has distinctly religious overtones and may even establish a […]

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Tiny vibrations could reveal extraterrestrial life

Looking for life on other planets is not straightforward. Usually, chemical detection is used, but such tests are limited in scope and might be completely irrelevant to esoteric alien biology. Motion is a trait of all life, but detecting the tiny movements of microorganisms requires incredible sensitivity. Now, Swiss scientists say they have developed an […]

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How long can our technological civilization last?

By combining the Earth-based science of sustainability with the space-oriented field of astrobiology, two astrophysicists are attempting to answer questions about humanity’s future in the broadest astronomical context. In their paper, which appears in the journalAnthropocene, Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan (both from the University of Rochester) propose that climate change, ocean acidification, and species […]

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Space station experiment identifies microbes that can survive unprotected in space

Scientists conducting a series of experiments on the International Space Station say that some micro-organisms can survive for long periods exposed to the hostile environment of outer space. The findings, published in theAstrobiology Journal, lend weight to the concept of panspermia, where life on Earth emerged from bacterial colonies transported on comets and asteroids. The […]

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Camouflage or bright colors? What’s better to live long and prosper?

In nature, bright colors are signals that scream, “Don’t eat me!” But how did prey species evolve these characteristics? Now, thanks to a computer simulation of evolving populations of organisms, evolutionary scientists think they know the answer. In the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at Michigan State University reveal that these color-coded communications evolve over time […]

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Spinning nanoparticles hint at origin of life

Simply making nanoparticles spin coaxes them to arrange themselves into what University of Michigan researchers call “living rotating crystals,” a self-organizing behavior where the crystals take on a life of their own. Researcher Sharon Glotzer and her team discovered the behavior while investigating methods to make nanoparticles self-assemble. They found that when they spun individual […]

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Europa report: moon’s ocean currents make life possible

A team of scientists who have been modeling the subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa say that the ocean’s deep currents and circulation patterns likely create heat and energy transfers capable of sustaining biological life. The researchers behind the exciting new finding, from the University of Texas at Austin, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and […]

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New evidence that comets may have seeded life on Earth

A new experiment simulating conditions in deep space has shown that linked pairs of amino acids – essential building blocks shared by all living things – could have been created on icy interplanetary dust and then carried to Earth where they jump-started life. Details of the experiment are reported in The Astrophysical Journal. The discovery, […]

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