Could microbes live in Martian brine?

A new million-dollar NASA project led by the University of Michigan aims to discover whether drops of salt water are common on Mars - and whether microbial life could survive in them.

Aerobic life existed 300 million years earlier than thought

Oxygen may have been sustaining life in Earth's oceans long before there was any trace of it in the atmosphere.

Martian channels 'caused by lava, not water'

The channels on Mars widely supposed to have been created by flowing water have a completely different origin, says a Texas Tech University professor.

Hydrogen peroxide found in interstellar space

Hydrogen peroxide has been found for the first time in space, and astronomers are excited - not because it indicates that aliens are bottle blondes, but because it gives clues to how water may be formed.

Liquid oceans on Enceladus imply it could sustain life

The Cassini spacecraft's found the strongest evidence yet that Saturn's moon Enceladus is concealing a large, underground saltwater ocean - raising hopes for the possibility of life on similar moons.

Meteorite sheds light on start of life on Earth

New tests on what's considered the best-preserved meteorite in the world have shed light on the way asteroids may have served up a varying menu of the building blocks of life.

Scientists hope to check Martian surface for earthling DNA

MIT research scientists are planning to check whether we're all Martians, descended from organisms that were carried here aboard meteorites.

Abandoned experiment gives clue to origins of life

Some experimental samples put aside for 50 years have provided new evidence that life on earth could have been kick-started by volcanoes.

NASA scientist finds fossils of alien life forms

A NASA scientist says he's discovered alien life, in the form of microscopic fossils, embedded in meteorites.

Ammonia from meteorites could have started life on Earth

Ammonia brought to Earth by meteorites could have helped kick-start life, says a team at Arizona State University.

More types of asteroid could have kick-started life on Earth

Many types of asteroid could have created the kind of amino acids used by life on Earth to build proteins and regulate chemical reactions, according to new NASA research.

Buckyballs found in another galaxy

Astronomers have discovered buckyballs in another galaxy for the first time, lending weight to the theory that they may have been responsible for the arrival on Earth of chemicals key to the origin of life.

1976 Martian samples found to contain organics

Martian soil may contain carbon-based organic molecules, the building blocks of life.

Team finds mechanism for origin of life

It's a chicken-and-egg problem that's concerned biologists for decades: how did the basic biochemicals of life appear before the biological catalysts needed to form them had come into existence?

Martian rocks could show signs of life

A team of researchers says that rocks in the Nili Fossae region of Mars may contain the fossilized remains of life.

Multicelled life emerged much earlier than thought

The first multicelled life appeared on Earth more than 1.5 billion years earlier than previously thought, new fossil discoveries show.

Team creates precursors of life in Titan-like environment

Scientists have created organic macromolecules by zapping a Titan-like atmosphere with UV rays. The discovery supports the idea that the moon of Saturn could support life.   

Ancient Martian ocean may have supported life

Evidence that a vast ocean may have covered one-third of the surface of Mars some 3.5 billion years ago gives new support to the idea that the planet may once have harbored life.

Mars may have been more suitable for life than thought

Scientists have discovered evidence sitting right under their noses that indicates there may have been more water on Mars than previously thought.

Venter team creates first synthetic living cell

In what is being hailed as the greatest scientific breakthrough in a generation, researchers have created the first artificial living cell.