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Scientists discover unexpected enzyme structure

Many microbes have an enzyme that can convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide. This reaction is critical for building carbon compounds and generating energy, particularly...
‘Spacesuits’ protect microbes destined to live in space

‘Spacesuits’ protect microbes destined to live in space

Just as spacesuits help astronauts survive in inhospitable environments, newly developed "spacesuits" for bacteria allow them to survive in environments that would otherwise kill...
Microbial Dark Matter Dominates Earth’s Environments

Microbial dark matter dominates Earth’s environments

Uncultured microbes--those whose characteristics have never been described because they have not yet been grown in a lab culture--could be dominating nearly all the...
The world needs death and decomposition

The world needs death and decomposition

What if roadkill piled beside the road and never decomposed? What if massive fish kills washed up on beaches and remained for eternity? First off, it...

Scientists predict extinction risk for hard-to-track species

Species are going extinct all over the world: Scientists believe that Earth is losing between 200 and 2,000 species every year. That number is squishy,...

Most severe mass extinction on Earth occurred with no early warning signs

End-Permian extinction, which wiped out most of Earth’s species, was instantaneous in geological time. The most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history occurred with almost...

How phytoplankton survive in ocean gyres with low nutrient supplies

Subtropical gyres are huge, sustained currents spanning thousands of kilometers across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, where very little grows. With nutrients in short supply,...

558 million-year-old fat reveals earliest known animal

Scientists have discovered molecules of fat in an ancient fossil to reveal the earliest confirmed animal in the geological record that lived on Earth...
Earth's oldest animals formed complex ecological communities

Earth’s oldest animals formed complex ecological communities

A new analysis is shedding light on the earth's first macroscopic animals: the 570-million-year-old, enigmatic Ediacara biota. Ediacaran fossils have a slightly bizarre appearance not shared...

A single gene mutation may have helped humans become optimal long-distance runners

Two to three million years ago, the functional loss of a single gene triggered a series of significant changes in what would eventually become...