Microbial Fossils Found in 3.4-Billion-Year-Old Subseafloor Rock
Microbial Fossils Found in 3.4-Billion-Year-Old Subseafloor Rock
The material, now part of an African mountain range, bolsters the idea that hydrothermal veins supported early forms of life.
Microbial Fossils Found in 3.4-Billion-Year-Old Subseafloor Rock
Microbial Fossils Found in 3.4-Billion-Year-Old Subseafloor Rock

The material, now part of an African mountain range, bolsters the idea that hydrothermal veins supported early forms of life.

The material, now part of an African mountain range, bolsters the idea that hydrothermal veins supported early forms of life.

Origin of life
Lightning Might Have Sparked Early Life on Earth
Lightning Might Have Sparked Early Life on Earth
Asher Jones | Mar 17, 2021
Electrical storms, rather than meteorites as scientists had previously thought, could have unlocked phosphorus necessary for the development of ancient life, according to a new study.
Origins Reimagined
Origins Reimagined
The Scientist Staff | Nov 1, 2020
Jeremy England, this month’s Reading Frames author, explains his views on how life may have started not with a primordial, disordered soup, but with smart protein assemblages.
Book Excerpt from <em>Every Life is On Fire</em>
Book Excerpt from Every Life is On Fire
Jeremy England | Nov 1, 2020
In Chapter 7, “Wind and Breath,” author Jeremy England considers research findings that point to a surprising, emergent property of seemingly disordered molecules.
Reconsidering Life&rsquo;s Origin
Reconsidering Life’s Origin
Jeremy England | Nov 1, 2020
Is the model of early life as a freak occurrence in a disordered, primordial soup of chemicals wrong?
Image of the Day: Fractal Formation
Image of the Day: Fractal Formation
Emily Makowski | Nov 4, 2019
A mixture of chemicals induces reactions reminiscent of life on pyrite.
RNA-DNA Chimeras Might Have Supported the Origin of Life on Earth
RNA-DNA Chimeras Might Have Supported the Origin of Life on Earth
Jef Akst | Sep 17, 2019
A new study finds mixtures of nucleotide types, rather than pure systems, are more likely to yield the building blocks of life.
Cerebral Inception
Cerebral Inception
Bob Grant | May 1, 2019
Our brains have evolved to the point where we can build artificial brains that might help us understand our brains. Let that sink in.
Primordial RNA May Have Contained Inosine
Primordial RNA May Have Contained Inosine
Catherine Offord | Mar 1, 2019
The discovery that the adenosine derivative aids self-replication adds weight to the theory that life on Earth originated from a mixture of RNA molecules.
Oldest Evidence of Terrestrial Life on a Young Earth
Oldest Evidence of Terrestrial Life on a Young Earth
Anna Azvolinsky | Jul 23, 2018
Microbes were living on land as early as 3.22 billion years ago, fossilized rocks show, 500 million years earlier than previously documented.
Mitochondria’s Bacterial Origins Upended
Mitochondria’s Bacterial Origins Upended
Shawna Williams | Apr 25, 2018
Contrary to some hypotheses, the organelles did not descend from any known lineage of Alphaproteobacteria, researchers find.
Search for Life on the Red Planet
Search for Life on the Red Planet
Diana Kwon | Dec 1, 2017
Growing evidence points to a once-habitable world—and recent findings suggest that life could exist on Mars today.
Building Blocks of Life May Have Formed in Water Droplets
Building Blocks of Life May Have Formed in Water Droplets
Ashley Yeager | Oct 23, 2017
Reactions that generate fundamental components of the cell run smoothly in microdroplets, study shows.
Twists and Turns
Twists and Turns
Mary Beth Aberlin | Jul 16, 2017
New starring roles for nucleic acids
Molecule Similar to Peptides Detected in Protostars
Molecule Similar to Peptides Detected in Protostars
Kerry Grens | Jun 9, 2017
The dust surrounding emerging, Sun-like stars contains methyl isocyanate, an organic molecule.
Life Before 4 Billion Years Ago?
Life Before 4 Billion Years Ago?
Jef Akst | Oct 20, 2015
A new estimate of the origin of life on Earth pushes back the date by 300 million years.
Early Code
Early Code
Jef Akst | Jun 3, 2015
New research points to key properties of transfer RNA molecules and amino acids that may have supported the origin of life on Earth.
Contributors
Contributors
The Scientist Staff | Jun 1, 2015
Meet some of the people featured in the June 2015 issue of The Scientist.
New Legs to Stand On
New Legs to Stand On
Mary Beth Aberlin | Jun 1, 2015
Reconstructing the past using ancient DNA
On the Origins of Life
On the Origins of Life
Jef Akst | Mar 17, 2015
A new experimental system demonstrates that precursors of ribonucleotides, amino acids, and lipids may have simultaneously arisen from the same prebiotic chemistry.