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Origins of life
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How RNA formed at the origins of life

A single process for how a group of molecules called nucleotides were made on the early Earth, before life began, has been suggested by a UCL-led team of researchers.
Nucleotides are essential to all life on Earth as they form the building blocks of DNA or RNA, and understanding how they were first made is a long-standing challenge that must be resolved to elucidate the origins of life.
In a study, published today in Nature Communications and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Simons Foundation and the Origins of Life Challenge, researchers from UCL, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital suggest a single chemical mechanism by which both classes of nucleotides - purines and pyrimidines - could have formed together.

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Resurrected protein's clue to origins of life

New reconstructions of ancient proteins have provided clues to the habitat and origins of life on Earth.
The resurrected protein is thought to have existed almost four billion years ago in single-celled organisms linked to the earliest ancestor of all life.



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UGA researchers shed light on ancient origin of life

University of Georgia researchers discovered important genetic clues about the history of microorganisms called archaea and the origins of life itself in the first ever study of its kind. Results of their study shed light on one of Earth's oldest life forms.
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How life emerged from deep-sea rocks

Rocks, water and hot alkaline fluid rich in hydrogen gas spewing out of deep-sea vents: this recipe for life has been championed for years by a small group of scientists. Now two of them have fleshed out the detail on how the first cells might have evolved in these vents, and escaped their deep sea lair.
Nick Lane at University College London and Bill Martin at the University of Düsseldorf in Germany think the answer to how life emerged lies in the origin of cellular ion pumps, proteins that regulate the flow of ions across the cell's membrane, the barrier that separates it from the outside world. Their hypothesis is published today in Cell.

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Scientists find mechanism behind origin of life on Earth

Researchers have found that a 'molecular network' with self-perpetuating capability may have triggered a possible mechanism by which life got a foothold on the early Earth.
Recent mathematical research sheds light on a possible mechanism by which life may have gotten a foothold in the chemical soup that existed on the early Earth.

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Origins of Life: current theories

Spoiler

In this video conference lecture, third in the ABC Net 2012/2013 series, Dr Natalia B. Gontareva from the St Petersburg State Technical University and Russian Astrobiology Center, discusses the different theories on the origin of life.



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Astrobiology tries to unravel the origins of life

Where does life come from? Are we really just stardust? Is there life elsewhere than on this planet? A new form of science tries to answer these questions - astrobiology.
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Is Life an "Artificial Category"?

Maggie Turnbull prizes her independence as a scientist. Turnbull's an authority on habitable star systems. Touted in the media as a genius astrobiologist, and with an asteroid named after her, she says life is an artificial category.
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Origin of Life
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 A Challenge to Find Life's Origin

As a long-time protector of the Pacific Northwest's old growth forests and the once political darling of environmentalists there, philanthropist Harry Lonsdale now thinks there is no greater wilderness to get his feet wet in than the origin of life. A chemist by training, who became a millionaire following the sale of his Oregon high tech company to Pfizer in the 1980s and then ran three times (unsuccessfully) for the US Senate, Lonsdale will shortly announce the winner(s) of his Origin of Life $50K Challenge for the best proposal detailing "first life"; $300,000 in additional research funding will be split among the top three finishing teams. Lonsdale says he's looking to give away a total of $2 M in support of origin of life investigations in the months to come in increments of $300,000.
In his search for a winning hypothesis, Harry Lonsdale has focused on proposals that cogently address the chemistry of "first life," an area of research where he said he and his panel of peer reviewers are most knowledgeable.

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Ancient Mud Volcanoes Perfect for Early Life, Rock Study Suggests

Ancient deep-sea mud volcanoes may have been ideal settings for early life on Earth, researchers suggest.
Life may have first developed on Earth nearly 4 billion years ago, but much remains mysterious about its beginnings. To learn more about life's origins, scientists investigated some of the oldest remnants of crust on Earth - rocks 3.7 billion to 3.8 billion years old from Isua on the southwestern coast of Greenland.

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