Life originated as a result of natural processes that exploited early Earth's raw materials. Scientific models of life's origins almost always look to minerals for such essential tasks as the synthesis of life's molecular building blocks or the supply of metabolic energy.
The mystery of why life on Earth evolved when it did has deepened with the publication of a new study in the latest edition of the journal Science.
Evidence of diverse life forms dating back nearly a hundred thousand years has been found in subglacial lake sediments by a group of British scientists. The possibility that extreme life forms might exist in the cold and dark lakes hidden kilometres beneath the Antarctic ice sheet has fascinated scientists for decades.
New evidence has purportedly emerged which supports the long-debated theory that life on Earth may have started on Mars.
Lake Vostok, buried under a glacier in Antarctica, is so dark, deep and cold that scientists had considered it a possible model for other planets, a place where nothing could live.
Early Earth was not very hospitable when it came to jump starting life. In fact, new research shows that life on Earth may have come from out of this world.
In an effort to determine if conditions were ever right on Mars to sustain life, a team of scientists, including a Michigan State University professor, has examined a meteorite that formed on the red planet more than a billion years ago.
University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers say they've established certain key features in proteins that are needed for life to function on Mars and other extreme environments.
University of Georgia researchers say they've discovered important genetic clues about archaea, one of Earth's oldest life forms.
Astronomers have found the strongest evidence yet that the ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa may consist of salty water, like our own. And, they say, that salty water appears to be making its way to the surface.
Life may well exist on planets orbiting dying stars - and, if it does, there's a good chance we'll find it within the next decade, say astrophysicists.
An American research team has successfully drilled through 2,600 feet of Antarctic ice to reach a subglacial lake and collect water and sediment samples that have been isolated for thousands of years.
Most stars in the Milky Way that resemble our sun are more likely to host planets that support life than our own.
It's always been a bit of a mystery as to how life began on a molecular level. Theories tend to involve a network of molecules that have the ability to work together to jumpstart and speed up their own replication.
The size and location of an asteroid belt could be a significant factor in determining whether complex life will evolve on a nearby Earth-like planet.
NASA's Curiosity rover is getting ready to take its first scoop of Martian soil.
Scientists say they've found the best evidence yet for panspermia - the theory that life on Earth developed from microorganisms brought here from other planets on asteroids, meteors and the like.
NASA scientists are zapping organics with lasers in an attempt to discover how life arose on Earth.
New research indicates that life might be able to survive on some of the odder exoplanets discovered so far - from scorching hot worlds with molten surfaces to freezing balls of ice.
One of the most encouraging signs for those searching for evidence of early water on Mars has been the existence of clays. But a French-US team has now rained on that particular parade.