Saturday, December 7, 2013

Supernovae may Drive Evolution on Earth:

On Earth, we have an almost incomprehensible array of life. It comes in millions of different forms (the best estimate puts the figure at 8.7 million species, not counting bacteria). What"s more, these organisms are only an addition to the species that have long been extinct. What causes such diversity?

The answer seems rather simple -- seemingly random genetic mutations drive evolution. These mutations are the raw materials of genetic variation; without them, evolution could not occur. But what actually drives these random mutations? Well, this is where things get a little complicated; however, new light has been shed on one possible factor – supernovae.

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