Purple microbial mats offer clues to how ancient life functioned.
How ancient microbes survived in a world without oxygen has been a mystery. Scientists discovered a living microbial mat that uses arsenic instead of oxygen for photosynthesis and respiration.
We don't fully understand viruses, and we're still trying to understand life.
Deep ocean hydrothermal vent - where life started?
IFE / URI-IAO / UW / Lost City Science Party / NOAA / OAR / OER
Scientists have for the first time created shown how the precursor to living cells could have formed around deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
Humans evolved through a series of highly unlikely events – so finding another intelligence like us would be like winning the lottery many times over.
Current plans for lunar exploration may end up destroying ancient, genetic samples from Earth that have ended up on the moon.
Earth’s Pacific Ocean seen from the International Space Station.
Genetic data has helped scientists develop new estimates for the origin and evolution of life on Earth.
New research suggests life on Earth became more diverse because of a change in biology related to stem cells, not just rising oxygen levels.
The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, seen up close.
Dust can be instructive. The analysis of those collected around the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko provided new information on the history of the solar system.
Tubular fossils believed to represent early microbes.
Tiny tubes and filaments of iron found in rocks in Canada turned out to be the remains of microbes from over 3.7 billion years ago.
New research suggests how asteroids may have helped create conditions for life on Earth. But we shouldn't get too carried away with the idea – yet.
NOAA Photo Library/Flickr
New research suggests the "primordial soup" theory can't explain how living cells evolved to harness energy.
Grand Prismatic Spring and Midway Geyser Basin from above.
Scientists have uncovered genes they believe have been passed down from an ancestor organism that all life evolved from.
The molecules that make up life may have arrived from space, and many are chiral.
NASA / Jenny Mottar
A new theory could explain why the key molecules of life - DNA and RNA - only come in one of two possible forms.
Solar flare on August 31, 2012.
Life on Earth may have started with a bit of sunshine and showers, followed with a light breeze of laughing gas and a sprinkle of hydrogen cyanide.
Don Davis (work commissioned by NASA)
Study suggests that comets and meteorites could have seeded planets beyond our own solar system with life.
Under the calm ice sheets of “Snowball Earth” explosive volcanoes tranformed ocean chemistry.
Is this where it all began?
The origin of life is still an unsolved riddle. How were life's building blocks first assembled?
The site of the Apex chert once thought to hold the oldest fossil found on Earth.
The debate has raged for years on the origin of life-like structure in an ancient rocky find in Western Australia. But is it evidence of early life?
Rosetta deploys the Philae lander to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
ESA/ATG medialab; Comet image: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam
Scientists working with data sent back by the now-slumbering Philae lander have announced the discovery of organic molecules on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Finding organic compounds on 67P’s surface…
It’s all science.
The drama of Philae’s slow fall, bounce and unfortunate slide into hibernation was one of the most thrilling science stories of a generation. But what in its short 60 hours of life on Comet 67P did it…