2001 Annual Science Report

University of Washington Reporting  |  JUL 2000 – JUN 2001

Executive Summary

Executive Summary — UOW (dm)

The surge of interest in astrobiology has resulted in new information about many aspects of early evolution and the range of conditions under which life can exist, based largely on new understandings of extremophilic microbes. Far less understood, however, is the frequency and range of conditions under which more complex organisms, specifically metazoans, might occur and survive for long periods of time. Together, astrophysical and geophysical processes have provided the molecular components of life, the carbon and energy sources to sustain life, and the diverse and changing environments on earth that favor evolution and biocomplexity. In fact, increasing biocomplexity is one common trend of the evolution of life on Earth and is the result of a co-evolution of organisms with their environment. The interchange between the complex environmental factors and molecular mechanisms that led to the evolution of eukaryotes and ... Continue reading.

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