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The First Complex Life May Have Come from Two Merging Microbes

The First Complex Life May Have Come from Two Merging Microbes


Elif Bayraktar / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The First Complex Life May Have Come from Two Merging Microbes New evidence strengthens the hypothesis

Corps Values: How Youth Corps Are Saving Historic Places

Image of a hydrothermal vent field along the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, close to where “Loki,” a member of the Asgard group, was found in marine sediments.


Meet the Endoterrestrials

Evidence of possibly the oldest forms of life on Earth have been found in hydrothermal vent precipitates.

A Key Evolutionary Step May Mean Intelligent Alien Life Doesn't Exist in the Universe

Archaea, prokaroytic microbes, were first found in extreme environments, such as hydrothermal vents.

Cells of Dictyostelium purpureum, a common soil microbe, streaming to form a multicellular fruiting

Several different strains of B. subtilis grow side by side in this dish. Because

MIT earth scientists have found evidence that eukaryotes — the domain of life comprising animals,

How Life Made the Leap From Single Cells to Multicellular Animals

An exoskeleton-consuming gene found in bacteria sheds light on the first arthropods to walk

A Break in the Search for the Origin of Complex Life

brain illustration


Five Revolutions: How bacteria created the biosphere and caused the first climate crisis

The slime mold Physarum polycephalum forms a network of cytoplasmic veins as it spreads across a

Mystery of how first animals appeared on Earth 'solved' by scientists


Organosilicon-based life art

The human microbiome: why our microbes could be key to our health

Scientists generally agree that the first life on earth appeared sometime before 3.9 billion years ago (bya). The origins of life are known to have come ...

A current view of the tree of life suggested by Hug et al. It shows the total diversity represented by 3083 sequenced genomes.

Konstantin Mereschkowski's 1905 tree-of-life diagram, showing the origin of complex life-forms by two episodes of symbiogenesis, the incorporation of ...

Scientists have evolved a remarkable new form of life that can bond silicon to carbon

2 in Hug et al. Here each major lineage represents the same amount of evolutionary distance.

A schematic of the two-domain tree, with eukaryotes evolving from endosymbiosis between members

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life 1st Edition

Life's Engines: How Microbes made the Earth Habitable by Paul G. Falkowski

Computer artwork of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. Viruses have evolved unique proteins in their outer coat that allow them to break into and infect ...

Earth From Space

The last universal common ancestor evolved to give rise to cells in the domains of Archaea and Bacteria, also known as prokaryotic cells.

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life 1st Edition

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong review – we are possessed by bacteria

Science in the News

Photosynthesis originated a billion years earlier than we thought, study shows

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life

The field of hydrothermal vents known as Loki's Castle, in the North Atlantic Ocean,

Bacteria and arachaea are unicellular and lack a nucleus.

Microbiologists think that these look a bit like modern bacteria but, to me, they look like fuzzy blobs. The black and white diagram in the next picture ...

life artwork

Over hundreds of millions of years, life spread through the seas and over Earth's surface

Infographic: Biologicals: Bacteria Boost Crop Yields

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Eukaryota diversity 2.jpg

A fossil of a 600 million-year-old multicellular organism displays unexpected evidence of

Photo: Ginkgo Bioworks Mutant Microbes: Joyn Bio is trying to reprogram bacteria to give them a very particular superpower: the ability to capture nitrogen ...

Growth dynamics and the evolution of cooperation in microbial populations | Scientific Reports

Life's Engines: How Microbes made the Earth Habitable

Conceptual illustration of an early ocean, showing algae and bacteria. Some scientists think that

Cicada, North Carolina, May 2011. Photo courtesy

A. Prophase. Replicated chromosomes, consisting of two daughter strands

Behold LUCA, the Last Universal Common Ancestor of Life on Earth

Galapagos tortoises are the product of over 3 billion years of evolution

If water once existed on the lunar surface for extended periods, could life have found a foothold? (maxpixel.net)

Campylobacter.jpg. Campylobacter.jpg. The two bacteria in question – Campylobacter ...

Harnessing the landscape of microbial culture media to predict new organism–media pairings | Nature Communications

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life by Nick Lane

Stromatolites may have been made by microbes moving upward to avoid being smothered by sediment.

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Ars Electronica/Flickr

The discovery of the mimivirus, above, re-ignited interest in the origin of viruses. This virus looks like a bacteria, and is much larger and more complex ...

A rooted phylogenetic tree resembles a living tree, with a common ancestor indicated as the

Microbial colonization of a sand grain. Confocal laser scanning micrograph showing SYBR green I-stained microbial cells on a sand grain visualized as ...

Click for legend of molecules

Here on Earth, the closest world to us is our barren, uninhabited moon. But in many imaginable cases, there could be another inhabited world close by our ...

By the time a child crawls, he is blanketed by an enormous cloud of microorganisms.

The three domains of life. Prokaryotes emerged about four billion years ago and still exist today. All animals, plants and fungi are descended from the ...

Mongrel Microbe Tests Story of Complex Life. The Sciences

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life by Nick Lane

Artwork of the early Earth-Moon system (Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library)

Cyanobacteria are a form of bacteria that obtain their energy from photosynthesis. They are frequently referred to as blue-green algae, ...

The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health 1st Edition

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The Titanic, draped with colonies of bacteria. (Courtesy of Lori Johnson, RMS

These Funky Microbes Make Your Favorite Foods More Delicious

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The hemoglobin tetramerTwo αβ dimers combine to form the complete hemoglobin molecule. Each heme group

The very simplest must have been nothing more than some molecules that could reproduce somehow. This diagram shows one possibility, RNA molecules that could ...

Thus, a reasonable way to envision the origin of Life is to postulate initial associations of cooperating molecules. In turn, teams of molecules that have ...

MIT chemical engineers have devised a way to encapsulate probiotics so that they can be delivered

Bacteria are single-celled organisms with a circular DNA molecule and no organelles.

Host Genome Influence on Gut Microbial Composition and Microbial Prediction of Complex Traits in Pigs | Genetics


Endosymbiotic Theory and Eukaryotic Origins

Experimental design to elucidate the importance of colonization history in ex-germ-free mice colonized with whole donor microbiomes.

The wrinkled structure of this Bacillus subtilis biofilm helps to ensure that all the bacteria in