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Origins of Life

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  1. Astrobiology
  1. -12-11-05 Life Began in Space? (Scientific American)
      "Louis Allamandola and his colleagues at the NASA Ames Research Center have created primitive cells of a sort—empty, two-layer membranes (see image)—from elementary chemicals, exposed to conditions like those in interstellar clouds. 'Scientists believe the molecules needed to make a cell's membrane, and thus for the origin of life, are all over space,' Allamandola says. 'This discovery implies that life could be everywhere in the universe.' " 12-05

  1. -Science: How Did Life Begin? (
      "The molecule was not alive, at least not in any conventional sense. Yet its behavior was astonishingly lifelike. When it appeared last April at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, scientists thought it had spoiled their experiment. But this snippet of synthetic rna -- one of the master molecules in the nuclei of all cells -- proved unusually talented. Within an hour of its formation, it had commandeered the organic material in a thimble-size test tube and started to make copies of itself. Then the copies made copies. Before long, the copies began to evolve, developing the ability to perform new and unexpected chemical tricks. Surprised and excited, the scientists who witnessed the event found themselves wondering, Is this how life got started?" 06-10

  2. How Did Life Originate on Earth? (
      "Earth is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old, and for much of that history it has been home to life in one weird form or another."

      "Indeed, some scientists think life appeared the moment our planet's environment was stable enough to support it." 12-05

  3. Intelligent Design as Science (
      "Despite ID sometimes being called Intelligent Design Theory, the National Academy of Sciences has said, intelligent design 'and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life' are not science because their claims cannot be tested by experiment and propose no new hypotheses of their own, instead they find gaps within current evolutionary theory and fill them in with speculative beliefs. The scientific community does not recognise ID as a scientific theory and considers it to be creationist pseudoscience." 8-05

  4. Link Found for Complex Cells (
      "A common group of bacteria found in acid bogs and sewage treatment plants has provided scientists with evidence of a 'missing link' in one of the most important steps in the evolution of life on Earth -- the emergence of cells with a nucleus containing DNA (eukaryotic cells)." 11-10

  5. Worlds in Our Solar System Where Life Might Exist (
      "But science grooves on surprises. And one of the big surprises of the past few decades is the discovery of worlds that are warm despite being situated in places where the Sun doesn't shine. Consequently, there are now more than a half-dozen objects among Sol's minions that are considered possible hosts for life." 08-07


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