Between 3700 and 2500 million years ago, the Earth was born. Nothing was as it is today, neither the continents, nor the oceans, nor the atmosphere. In those times, the atmosphere was crossed by electric storms, and ultraviolet rays of the Sun. These phenomena transformed the substances that were present, by means of chemical reactions, into macromolecules that were able to reproduce and feed themselves. Life was born! Between 3200 and 2900 million years ago, thanks to the appearance of blue algae that could carry out chlorophyll photosynthesis, oxygen spread into the atmosphere. Thanks to the oxygen in the air and the nitrogen, life could also be transferred to the surfaces above the water. According to some scientists, life originated in puddles of water on the surface, others instead believe it originated in the ocean abysses, where there are sources of very hot water rich in minerals. To date, in these inhospitable environments we find bacteria that are able to live without light and receive energy from chemical oxidation of the sulphur compounds.

subjects dealt with in Beginning of life

vita_400x225_0005_nascite della vita

The Beginning of life

Philosophers from ancient Greece believed that life was contained in matter itself and when conditions were favourable it would appear…

vita_400x225_0007_evoluzione della vita

The evolution of life

The first living organisms we have proof of thanks to fossils, are three and a half billion years old. They…

vita_400x225_0006_fossili

Fossils

We may say that every day, palaeontology researches, active worldwide, present some new discovery : it may be a new…

special reports

  • 7 October 2014 / Life

    What language does science speak? 2nd part

    There is an old proverb that says “the apple does not fall far from the tree ”. Apparently it seems…

    18 September 2014 / Life

    What language does science speak?

    Do you remember the game called “Chinese whispers”? All the participants had to stand in line and the game started…

    2 July 2014 / Life

    A hoax? No thank you, I prefer to find out myself!

    Scientific hoaxes In Italian, bufala: a hoax, also means a female buffalo – and a type of mozzarella cheese is…

  • 31 August 2013 / Life

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Biodiversity in Italy Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic, climatic and historical characteristics. In particular, there…

    4 April 2013 / Life

    Carbon (14C) dating method

    Radiocarbon dating In 1991, near the border between Austria and Italy, the body of the Similaun man, also known as…

    27 September 2012 / Life

    Over 7 billion people on Earth

    World population hits 7 billion Demographers have estimated that on 31 October 2011 world population reached the 7 billion mark,…

  • 11 June 2012 / Life

    Bats, facts and fiction

    Legend or fact? In ancient Rome, bats were nailed to the door of the house as a protection from witches…

    16 April 2012 / Life

    Bats, The Lords of Darkness

    Year of the bat The UNEP Convention on Migratory Species and The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European…

    4 May 2010 / Life

    To make a tree...

    To make a tree you need... What does the word tree make you think of? Surely Christmas, but have you…

  • 7 October 2014 / Life

    What language does science speak? 2nd part

    There is an old proverb that says “the apple does not fall far from the tree ”. Apparently it seems…

    18 September 2014 / Life

    What language does science speak?

    Do you remember the game called “Chinese whispers”? All the participants had to stand in line and the game started…

  • 2 July 2014 / Life

    A hoax? No thank you, I prefer to find out myself!

    Scientific hoaxes In Italian, bufala: a hoax, also means a female buffalo – and a type of mozzarella cheese is…

    31 August 2013 / Life

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Biodiversity in Italy Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic, climatic and historical characteristics. In particular, there…

  • 4 April 2013 / Life

    Carbon (14C) dating method

    Radiocarbon dating In 1991, near the border between Austria and Italy, the body of the Similaun man, also known as…

    27 September 2012 / Life

    Over 7 billion people on Earth

    World population hits 7 billion Demographers have estimated that on 31 October 2011 world population reached the 7 billion mark,…

from the Multimedia section

  • life

    A bag of bananas!

    Look

    life

    Active yeast

    Look

    life

    The secrets of photosynthesis

    Look
  • life

    Interview with Maurizio Casiraghi

    Look

    life

    Massimo Labra on biotechnologies

    Look

    life

    Artificial photosyntesis, new discoveries

    Look
  • life

    Fred Pierce on agriculture and its impacts

    Look

    life

    At the heart of photosyntesis

    Look

    life

    Apple cake

    Look
  • life

    A bag of bananas!

    Look

    life

    Active yeast

    Look
  • life

    The secrets of photosynthesis

    Look

    life

    Interview with Maurizio Casiraghi

    Look
  • life

    Massimo Labra on biotechnologies

    Look

    life

    Artificial photosyntesis, new discoveries

    Look
  • life

    A bag of bananas!

    Look
  • life

    Active yeast

    Look
  • life

    The secrets of photosynthesis

    Look

curiosities

  • The African elephant

    The African elephant is the largest land animal living on our Planet. The male African elephant can reach a length…

    Animal records

    Long jump Snow leopard : 13 metres Springbok: 10 metres Kangaroo: 9 metres Flea: 35 cm, in other words, 220…

    The biggest animal

    The biggest living animal is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). It can reach a length of 33 metres and weigh…

  • Another camouflage …

    In the gardens it is quite common to find the larvae of the Chrysomelidae family beetle, called lily beetle (Crioceris…

    The biggest tree

    The tallest tree in the world is called Hyperion . It is a Sequoia sempervirens and is 115.55 metres tall,…

    The whale shark

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the world, in fact it can reach a length of…

  • CO2 “eating” trees

    If a tree “eats” CO2 and produces oxygen it is easy to understand the importance it has in reducing the…

    Green for hope

    Trees carry out an important hydrogeological function: the leaves protect the soil from erosion caused by rain and the roots…

    The tree and the truffle

    Truffles are hypogean (underground) fungi  which grow in the presence of particular trees such as oaks, holm oaks and willows,…

  • The African elephant

    The African elephant is the largest land animal living on our Planet. The male African elephant can reach a length…

    Animal records

    Long jump Snow leopard : 13 metres Springbok: 10 metres Kangaroo: 9 metres Flea: 35 cm, in other words, 220…

  • The biggest animal

    The biggest living animal is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). It can reach a length of 33 metres and weigh…

    Another camouflage …

    In the gardens it is quite common to find the larvae of the Chrysomelidae family beetle, called lily beetle (Crioceris…

  • The biggest tree

    The tallest tree in the world is called Hyperion . It is a Sequoia sempervirens and is 115.55 metres tall,…

    The whale shark

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the world, in fact it can reach a length of…

  • The African elephant

    The African elephant is the largest land animal living on our Planet. The male African elephant can reach a length…

  • Animal records

    Long jump Snow leopard : 13 metres Springbok: 10 metres Kangaroo: 9 metres Flea: 35 cm, in other words, 220…

  • The biggest animal

    The biggest living animal is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). It can reach a length of 33 metres and weigh…

With the sponsorship of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research
 
Eni S.p.A. - P.IVA 00905811006