Origin & Evolution of Life

Creatures Discovered From The Dawn Of Animal Life On Earth

Creatures Discovered From The Dawn Of Animal Life On Earth

arth's first complex animals were an eclectic bunch that lived in the shallow oceans between 580-540 million years ago.

Astrochemistry

Hunting Molecules To Find New Planets

Hunting Molecules To Find New Planets

Each exoplanet revolves around a star, like the Earth around the Sun. This is why it is generally impossible to obtain images of an exoplanet, so dazzling is the light of its star.

Extrasolar Planets

Distant Moons May Harbor Life

Distant Moons May Harbor Life

In a paper published Wednesday (June 13) in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers at the University of California, Riverside and the University of Southern Queensland have identified more than 100 giant planets that potentially host moons capable of supporting life.

Extrasolar Planets

Exoplanet Atmospheres at High Spectral Resolution

Exoplanet Atmospheres at High Spectral Resolution

The spectrum of an exoplanet reveals the physical, chemical, and biological processes that have shaped its history and govern its future. However, observations of exoplanet spectra are complicated by the overwhelming glare of their host stars.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Baseline Requirements For Detecting Biosignatures with the HabEx and LUVOIR Mission Concepts

Baseline Requirements For Detecting Biosignatures with the HabEx and LUVOIR Mission Concepts

A milestone in understanding life in the universe is the detection of biosignature gases in the atmospheres of habitable exoplanets.

Origin & Evolution of Life

A Simple Chemical Process May Have Led To The Origin Of Life On Earth

A Simple Chemical Process May Have Led To The Origin Of Life On Earth

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.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Atmospheric Seasonality as an Exoplanet Biosignature

Atmospheric Seasonality as an Exoplanet Biosignature

Current investigations of exoplanet biosignatures have focused on static evidence of life, such as the presence of biogenic gases like O2 or CH4.

Ceres

Organics On Ceres May Be More Abundant Than Originally Thought

Organics On Ceres May Be More Abundant Than Originally Thought

Last year, scientists with NASA's Dawn mission announced the detection of organic material -- carbon-based compounds that are necessary components for life -- exposed in patches on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres.

Gravitational Biology

Studying How Plants Respond To Gravity

Studying How Plants Respond To Gravity

Plants are quicker to react and more sensitive than you might think - they can detect light changes in a fraction of a second and can bend towards light sources within minutes - and they respond equally fast to gravity.

Oceanic Research

Nitrogen-fixing Microbes At The Surface Of Earth's Oceans

Nitrogen-fixing Microbes At The Surface Of Earth's Oceans

Move over, cyanobacteria! A large-scale study of the Earth's surface ocean indicates the microbes responsible for fixing nitrogen there--previously thought to be almost exclusively photosynthetic cyanobacteria-include an abundant and widely distributed suite of non-photosynthetic bacterial populations.

Plant Biology

A Better Understanding Of Photosynthesis On Earth

A Better Understanding Of Photosynthesis On Earth

Arguably, the greatest fueler of life on our planet is photosynthesis, but understanding its labyrinthine chemistry, powered by sunlight, is challenging. Researchers recently illuminated some new steps inside the molecular factory that makes the oxygen we breathe.

More top stories from June.