February 2008

Presenter: J. William Schopf
Date/Time: 2/25/2008 11:00 AM PST

Throughout recorded Earth history, microbial life has been ubiquitous, abundant, metabolically diverse, and, for the Precambrian four billion years of geologic time, biotically predominant. In the search for life elsewhere in the Cosmos, the prokaryote-dominated world of the Precambrian is the best analogue we know. Though evidence of microbe-level life will thus be sought in rocks returned from Mars, for the first such missions only minimal samples will be available. This raises important questions: What amount of rock is needed to detect past life? What evidence is required to establish biogenicity? How can true fossils be distinguished from contaminants?

The NAI announces, through the release of this Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN), an opportunity for the submission of team-based proposals for membership in the Institute. Proposals should clearly articulate an innovative, interdisciplinary, astrobiology research program, together with plans to advance the full scope of NAI objectives as defined in the Institute's Mission Statement.

The NAI-MIRS Program provides opportunities for researchers from qualified minority institutions to initiate joint partnerships with researchers in the field of astrobiology. The NAI-MIRS program provides summer sabbaticals, follow-up support, and travel opportunities for faculty and students from minority institutions. The application deadline for summer 2008 is March 7th. For more information, visit

[Source: NAI Newsletter]

The Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington invites applications for Staff Scientist positions. We seek energetic and creative scientists to develop and carry out world-leading research in fields that complement and extend the current strengths of the Geophysical Laboratory.

Dear ASGSB Members and Friends

The Second Announcement of the ESA ISGP ASGSB ELGRA meeting in Angers, France, June 23-27 will be sent to you soon from the ESA Conference Bureau. The scientific committee is very excited about the developments so far leading up to the meeting, which is titled "Life in Space for Life on Earth". Here are a few things you should know right away.