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Between 3700 and 2500 million years ago, 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

The Beginning of life

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

The evolution of life

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

The discovery of DNA

More than half a century ago, on 25 April 1953, a short article just 900 words long, appeared on the…

Fossils

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

special reports

  • 3 November 2014 / Life

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

    5 February 2010 / Life

    Extreme bacteria

    Four billion years ago Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and Giuseppe Geraci, geology and molecular biology professors from…

    4 March 2010 / Life

    Biotechnological cleaners

    Bacteria that "eat oil" In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are closely connected to the production of…

  • 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…

    29 April 2021 / Life

    Etruscan shrews, ferocity in miniature

    Which is the tiniest micromammal, i.e. the smallest mammal on the planet? Up until almost half a century ago, it…

    10 March 2021 / Life

    International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021

    This year has been designated by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) as the International Year of…

  • 8 March 2021 / Life

    8 March. We remember Rosalind Franklin, the great female DNA scientist.

    DNA was first isolated by Friedrich Miescher, a Swiss biochemist in 1869. It was a brilliant, but not complicated operation:…

    27 February 2021 / Life

    In search of the riders of icebergs

    International Polar Bear Day, set up by Polar Bears International, a non-profit organisation, was held on 27 February. The aim…

    8 January 2021 / Life

    Smart as a crow

    Some people call them "monkeys with feathers" because they can do clever things comparable to many of our monkey cousins.…

  • 3 November 2014 / Life

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

    5 February 2010 / Life

    Extreme bacteria

    Four billion years ago Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and Giuseppe Geraci, geology and molecular biology professors from…

  • 4 March 2010 / Life

    Biotechnological cleaners

    Bacteria that "eat oil" In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are closely connected to the production of…

    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…

  • 29 April 2021 / Life

    Etruscan shrews, ferocity in miniature

    Which is the tiniest micromammal, i.e. the smallest mammal on the planet? Up until almost half a century ago, it…

    10 March 2021 / Life

    International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021

    This year has been designated by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) as the International Year of…

  • 8 March 2021 / Life

    8 March. We remember Rosalind Franklin, the great female DNA scientist.

    DNA was first isolated by Friedrich Miescher, a Swiss biochemist in 1869. It was a brilliant, but not complicated operation:…

    27 February 2021 / Life

    In search of the riders of icebergs

    International Polar Bear Day, set up by Polar Bears International, a non-profit organisation, was held on 27 February. The aim…

  • 8 January 2021 / Life

    Smart as a crow

    Some people call them "monkeys with feathers" because they can do clever things comparable to many of our monkey cousins.…

  • 3 November 2014 / Life

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

  • 5 February 2010 / Life

    Extreme bacteria

    Four billion years ago Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and Giuseppe Geraci, geology and molecular biology professors from…

  • 4 March 2010 / Life

    Biotechnological cleaners

    Bacteria that "eat oil" In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are closely connected to the production of…

  • 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…

  • 29 April 2021 / Life

    Etruscan shrews, ferocity in miniature

    Which is the tiniest micromammal, i.e. the smallest mammal on the planet? Up until almost half a century ago, it…

  • 10 March 2021 / Life

    International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021

    This year has been designated by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) as the International Year of…

  • 8 March 2021 / Life

    8 March. We remember Rosalind Franklin, the great female DNA scientist.

    DNA was first isolated by Friedrich Miescher, a Swiss biochemist in 1869. It was a brilliant, but not complicated operation:…

  • 27 February 2021 / Life

    In search of the riders of icebergs

    International Polar Bear Day, set up by Polar Bears International, a non-profit organisation, was held on 27 February. The aim…

  • 8 January 2021 / Life

    Smart as a crow

    Some people call them "monkeys with feathers" because they can do clever things comparable to many of our monkey cousins.…

from the Multimedia section

curiosities

  • Life from space

    According to some scientists life has always existed in the Universe just like the Universe...

    Clonation and Future

    The ability to give life to identical organisms, called clonation...

    Strong insects

    Many insects, despite their dimensions, are a lot stronger than...

  • Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

    Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

    Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

  • Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

    Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

    High-fashion bacteria

    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

  • Life from space

    According to some scientists life has always existed in the Universe just like the Universe...

    Clonation and Future

    The ability to give life to identical organisms, called clonation...

  • Strong insects

    Many insects, despite their dimensions, are a lot stronger than...

    Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

  • Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

    Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

  • Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

    Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

  • High-fashion bacteria

    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

  • Life from space

    According to some scientists life has always existed in the Universe just like the Universe...

  • Clonation and Future

    The ability to give life to identical organisms, called clonation...

  • Strong insects

    Many insects, despite their dimensions, are a lot stronger than...

  • Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

  • Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

  • Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

  • Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

  • Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

  • High-fashion bacteria

    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

 
 
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