Science: Of Molecules & Men

The business of biology is to study all aspects of life, from semiliving molecules to automation. At last week's Manhattan meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which goes heavy on biology, platoons of speakers went to work on life. Some highlights:

Original Soup. Best theory of how life began assumes that the earth once had a "reducing" atmosphere of methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water, as the outer planets have now. Solar radiation and lightning, according to the theory, turned this mixture into organic molecules which gradually grew complex enough to...

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