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Astrobiology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28177270/biosignature-preservation-and-detection-in-mars-analog-environments
#1
Lindsay E Hays, Heather V Graham, David J Des Marais, Elisabeth M Hausrath, Briony Horgan, Thomas M McCollom, M Niki Parenteau, Sally L Potter-McIntyre, Amy J Williams, Kennda L Lynch
This review of material relevant to the Conference on Biosignature Preservation and Detection in Mars Analog Environments summarizes the meeting materials and discussions and is further expanded upon by detailed references to the published literature. From this diverse source material, there is a detailed discussion on the habitability and biosignature preservation potential of five primary analog environments: hydrothermal spring systems, subaqueous environments, subaerial environments, subsurface environments, and iron-rich systems...
February 8, 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28151696/survival-dna-integrity-and-ultrastructural-damage-in-antarctic-cryptoendolithic-eukaryotic-microorganisms-exposed-to-ionizing-radiation
#2
Claudia Pacelli, Laura Selbmann, Laura Zucconi, Marina Raguse, Ralf Moeller, Igor Shuryak, Silvano Onofri
Life dispersal between planets, planetary protection, and the search for biosignatures are main topics in astrobiology. Under the umbrella of the STARLIFE project, three Antarctic endolithic microorganisms, the melanized fungus Cryomyces antarcticus CCFEE 515, a hyaline strain of Umbilicaria sp. (CCFEE 6113, lichenized fungus), and a Stichococcus sp. strain (C45A, green alga), were exposed to high doses of space-relevant gamma radiation ((60)Co), up to 117.07 kGy. After irradiation survival, DNA integrity and ultrastructural damage were tested...
February 2, 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28151694/the-effects-of-hze-particles-%C3%AE-and-x-ray-radiation-on-the-survival-and-genetic-integrity-of-halobacterium-salinarum-nrc-1-halococcus-hamelinensis-and-halococcus-morrhuae
#3
Stefan Leuko, Petra Rettberg
Three halophilic archaea, Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1, Halococcus hamelinensis, and Halococcus morrhuae have been exposed to different regimes of simulated outer space ionizing radiation. Strains were exposed to high-energy heavy ion (HZE) particles, namely iron and argon ions, as well as to γ radiation ((60)Co) and X-rays, and the survival and the genetic integrity of the 16S rRNA gene were evaluated. Exposure to 1 kGy of argon or iron ions at the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC) facility at the National Institute for Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Japan did not lead to a detectable loss in viability; only after exposure to 2 kGy of iron ions a decline in survival was observed...
February 2, 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28151691/starlife-an-international-campaign-to-study-the-role-of-galactic-cosmic-radiation-in-astrobiological-model-systems
#4
Ralf Moeller, Marina Raguse, Stefan Leuko, Thomas Berger, Christine Elisabeth Hellweg, Akira Fujimori, Ryuichi Okayasu, Gerda Horneck
In-depth knowledge regarding the biological effects of the radiation field in space is required for assessing the radiation risks in space. To obtain this knowledge, a set of different astrobiological model systems has been studied within the STARLIFE radiation campaign during six irradiation campaigns (2013-2015). The STARLIFE group is an international consortium with the aim to investigate the responses of different astrobiological model systems to the different types of ionizing radiation (X-rays, γ rays, heavy ions) representing major parts of the galactic cosmic radiation spectrum...
February 2, 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28151689/evaluation-of-the-resistance-of-chroococcidiopsis-spp-to-sparsely-and-densely-ionizing-irradiation
#5
Cyprien Verseux, Mickael Baqué, Riccardo Cifariello, Claudia Fagliarone, Marina Raguse, Ralf Moeller, Daniela Billi
Studying the resistance of cyanobacteria to ionizing radiation provides relevant information regarding astrobiology-related topics including the search for life on Mars, lithopanspermia, and biological life-support systems. Here, we report on the resistance of desert cyanobacteria of the genus Chroococcidiopsis, which were exposed (as part of the STARLIFE series of experiments) in both hydrated and dried states to ionizing radiation with different linear energy transfer values (0.2 to 200 keV/μm). Irradiation with up to 1 kGy of He or Si ions, 2 kGy of Fe ions, 5 kGy of X-rays, or 11...
February 2, 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27893284/biomarkers-and-metabolic-patterns-in-the-sediments-of-evolving-glacial-lakes-as-a-proxy-for-planetary-lake-exploration
#6
Víctor Parro, Yolanda Blanco, Fernando Puente-Sánchez, Luis A Rivas, Mercedes Moreno-Paz, Alex Echeverría, Guillermo Chong-Díaz, Cecilia Demergasso, Nathalie A Cabrol
Oligotrophic glacial lakes in the Andes Mountains serve as models to study the effects of climate change on natural biological systems. The persistent high UV regime and evolution of the lake biota due to deglaciation make Andean lake ecosystems potential analogues in the search for life on other planetary bodies. Our objective was to identify microbial biomarkers and metabolic patterns that represent time points in the evolutionary history of Andean glacial lakes, as these may be used in long-term studies as microscale indicators of climate change processes...
November 28, 2016: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28206823/the-effect-of-high-dose-ionizing-radiation-on-the-isolated-photobiont-of-the-astrobiological-model-lichen-circinaria-gyrosa
#7
Joachim Meeßen, Theresa Backhaus, Annette Brandt, Marina Raguse, Ute Böttger, Jean-Pierre de Vera, Rosa de la Torre
Lichen symbioses between fungi and algae represent successful life strategies to colonize the most extreme terrestrial habitats. Consequently, space exposure and simulation experiments have demonstrated lichens' high capacity for survival, and thus, they have become models in astrobiological research with which to discern the limits and limitations of terrestrial life. In a series of ground-based irradiation experiments, the STARLIFE campaign investigated the resistance of astrobiological model organisms to galactic cosmic radiation, which is one of the lethal stressors of extraterrestrial environments...
February 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28206822/the-effect-of-high-dose-ionizing-radiation-on-the-astrobiological-model-lichen-circinaria-gyrosa
#8
Rosa de la Torre, Ana Zélia Miller, Beatriz Cubero, M Luisa Martín-Cerezo, Marina Raguse, Joachim Meeßen
The lichen Circinaria gyrosa is an astrobiological model defined by its high capacity of resistance to space conditions and to a simulated martian environment. Therefore, it became part of the currently operated BIOMEX experiment on board the International Space Station and the recent STARLIFE campaign to study the effects of four types of space-relevant ionizing radiation. The samples were irradiated with helium and iron ions at doses up to 2 kGy, with X-rays at doses up to 5 kGy and with γ rays at doses from 6 to 113 kGy...
February 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28206821/simulated-space-radiation-impact-of-four-different-types-of-high-dose-ionizing-radiation-on-the-lichen-xanthoria-elegans
#9
Annette Brandt, Joachim Meeßen, Reiner U Jänicke, Marina Raguse, Sieglinde Ott
This study addresses the viability of the lichen Xanthoria elegans after high-dose ionizing irradiation in the frame of the STARLIFE campaign. The first set of experiments was intended to resemble several types of galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) as present beyond the magnetic shield of Earth. In the second set of experiments, γ radiation up to 113 kGy was applied to test the limit of lichen resistance to ionizing radiation. Entire thalli of Xanthoria elegans were irradiated in the anhydrobiotic state. After STARLIFE 1, the metabolic activity of both symbionts was quantified by live/dead staining with confocal laser scanning microscopy...
February 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28206820/tolerance-to-x-rays-and-heavy-ions-fe-he-in-the-tardigrade-richtersius-coronifer-and-the-bdelloid-rotifer-mniobia-russeola
#10
K Ingemar Jönsson, Andrzej Wojcik
The aim of this study was to analyze tolerance to heavy ions in desiccated animals of the eutardigrade Richtersius coronifer and the bdelloid rotifer Mniobia russeola within the STARLIFE project. Both species were exposed to iron (Fe) and helium (He) ions at the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC) in Chiba, Japan, and to X-rays at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany. Results show no effect of Fe and He on viability up to 7 days post-rehydration in both R. coronifer and M. russeola, while X-rays tended to reduce viability in R...
February 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28103108/secondary-school-students-knowledge-and-opinions-on-astrobiology-topics-and-related-social-issues
#11
Raquel Oreiro, Jordi Solbes
Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life on Earth and the distribution of life in the Universe. Its multidisciplinary approach, social and philosophical implications, and appeal within the discipline and beyond make astrobiology a uniquely qualified subject for general science education. In this study, student knowledge and opinions on astrobiology topics were investigated. Eighty-nine students in their last year of compulsory education (age 15) completed a written questionnaire that consisted of 10 open questions on the topic of astrobiology...
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28103107/star-masses-and-star-planet-distances-for-earth-like-habitability
#12
David Waltham
This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0...
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28103106/low-temperature-alkaline-ph-hydrolysis-of-oxygen-free-titan-tholins-carbonates-impact
#13
Coralie Brassé, Arnaud Buch, Patrice Coll, François Raulin
Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is one of the key planetary objects in the field of exobiology. Its dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere is the site of important organic chemistry. This paper focuses on the organic aerosols produced in Titan's atmosphere that play an important role in atmospheric and surface processes and in organic chemistry as it applies to exobiological interests. To produce reliable laboratory analogues of these aerosols, we developed, tested, and optimized a device for the synthesis of clean tholins...
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28103105/evolution-of-earth-like-extrasolar-planetary-atmospheres-assessing-the-atmospheres-and-biospheres-of-early-earth-analog-planets-with-a-coupled-atmosphere-biogeochemical-model
#14
S Gebauer, J L Grenfell, J W Stock, R Lehmann, M Godolt, P von Paris, H Rauer
Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models...
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28072548/conference-report-biosignature-preservation-and-detection-in-mars-analog-environments
#15
Lindsay Hays, David Beaty
The Conference on Biosignature Preservation and Detection in Mars Analog Environments held in May 2016 brought together scientists to discuss microbial biosignatures in Mars analog habitable environments. Five analog environments were discussed: (1) hydrothermal spring systems, (2) subaqueous environments, (3) subaerial environments, (4) subsurface environments, and (5) iron-rich systems. This paper details the major messages that resulted from the discussions and will be followed by a review paper that adds significant detail from the published literature and interpretations from the writing committee of the workshop for future research and application to astrobiological exploration missions...
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28068148/element-cycling-and-energy-flux-responses-in-ecosystem-simulations-conducted-at-the-chinese-lunar-palace-1
#16
Chen Dong, Yuming Fu, Beizhen Xie, Minjuan Wang, Hong Liu
Bioregenerative life-support systems (BLSS) address interactions between organisms and their environment as an integrated system through the study of factors that regulate the pools and fluxes of materials and energy through ecological systems. As a simple model, using BLSS is very important in the investigation of element cycling and energy flux for sustainable development on Earth. A 105-day experiment with a high degree of closure was carried out in this system from February to May, 2014, with three volunteers...
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28051326/g-equivalent-acceleration-tolerance-in-the-eutardigrade-species-hypsibius-dujardini
#17
Tarushika Vasanthan, Lorea Alejaldre, Jessica Hider, Shreya Patel, Nabiha Husain, Bavithra Umapathisivam, Jonathon Stone
Tardigrades are microscopic organisms renowned for their ability to survive extreme environmental conditions. Tardigrade extreme-tolerance research has centered on the ability to withstand desiccation, low and high temperatures, and high hydrostatic pressure and radiation levels. Tardigrade tolerance to hypergravity, however, has yet to be described. We used the eutardigrade species Hypsibius dujardini to investigate short-term tolerance to g-equivalent accelerations (i.e., mimicking g-forces). Data obtained from specimens centrifuged between 3421g and 16,060g for 1 min inclusively reveal tolerance in an acceleration-dependent relation, with lower survivorship and egg production at higher accelerations...
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28026990/a-possible-role-for-stochastic-astrophysical-ionizing-radiation-events-in-the-systematic-disparity-between-molecular-and-fossil-dates
#18
Adrian L Melott
Major discrepancies have been noted for some time between fossil ages and molecular divergence dates for a variety of taxa. Recently, systematic trends within avian clades have been uncovered. The trends show that the disparity is much larger for mitochondrial DNA than for nuclear DNA, also that it is larger for crown fossil dates than stem fossil dates. It has been argued that this pattern is largely inconsistent with incompleteness of the fossil record as the principal driver of the disparity. A case is presented that, given the expected mutations from a fluctuating background of astrophysical radiation from such sources as supernovae, the rate of molecular clocks is variable and should increase back to a few million years, before returning to the long-term average rate...
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28026989/should-we-invest-in-martian-brine-research-to-reduce-mars-exploration-costs
#19
Javier Martín-Torres, María-Paz Zorzano
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2017: Astrobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28001448/following-the-interstellar-history-of-carbon-from-the-interiors-of-stars-to-the-surfaces-of-planets
#20
L M Ziurys, D T Halfen, W Geppert, Y Aikawa
The chemical history of carbon is traced from its origin in stellar nucleosynthesis to its delivery to planet surfaces. The molecular carriers of this element are examined at each stage in the cycling of interstellar organic material and their eventual incorporation into solar system bodies. The connection between the various interstellar carbon reservoirs is also examined. Carbon has two stellar sources: supernova explosions and mass loss from evolved stars. In the latter case, the carbon is dredged up from the interior and then ejected into a circumstellar envelope, where a rich and unusual C-based chemistry occurs...
December 2016: Astrobiology
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