Image for How has life become so varied?

How has life become so varied?

Duration: 07:08

Our natural world is spectacularly diverse, from the tiniest bacteria, to the tallest trees. But every living thing on the planet is descended from one organism we call the Last Universal Common Ancestor, or LUCA. We know this because all life shares the same fundamental biochemistry; our DNA is built from the same four organic bases. So what created the abundance of life forms?

Professor Brian Cox explores how life on Earth has become so varied. Using a cloud chamber to observe cosmic rays, he explains how they’re an important source of mutation that drives the evolution of life.

Available since: Wed 13 Mar 2013

This clip is from

Wonders of Life Learning Zone, Episode 1

1/2 Brian Cox explores how Earth became host to the incredible natural world we see today.

First broadcast: 13 Mar 2013

Image for Episode 1 Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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