Archives

March 2012


This year's application deadline for grants from the Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research is April 6, 2012. This program provides 3 to 5 competitive grants each year in the range of $2500 to $5000 USD for support of field research at known or suspected impact sites worldwide. Grant funds may be used to assist with travel and subsistence costs, as well as laboratory and computer analysis of research samples and findings. Masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students enrolled in formal university programs are eligible. Over the past 10 years, 34 research projects have been supported. For additional details and an application, please go to http://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/kring/Awards/Barringer_Fund/index.html.

For a flyer to post at your institution, please go to http://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/kring/Awards/Barringer_Fund/Barringerflyer.pdf

The Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research has been established as a memorial to recognize the contributions of Brandon, Moreau, Paul, and Richard Barringer to the field of meteoritics and the Barringer family's strong interest and support over many years in research and student education. In addition to its memorial nature, the Fund also reflects the family's long-standing commitment to responsible stewardship of The Barringer Meteorite Crater and the family's steadfast resolve in maintaining the crater as a unique scientific research and education site.

The 2012 Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference (AbGradCon) will be held on August 27 - 30, 2012, preceded by the Research Focus Group splinter, August 24-26. The science program for the conference will be held at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), with an outreach event at the University of Southern California (USC), and a field-trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The conference will consist of three days of scientific sessions, two evenings of public outreach and education activities, and a one day field trip to JPL. Approximately 100 participants consisting of graduate students and early career postdocs are expected from both the US and abroad. The talks and poster sessions will draw on the success of past AbGradCons as a venue for early career astrobiologists to expand their horizons by forming collaborations and sharing their work and ideas with their contemporaries.

By incorporating organized outreach events, we will highlight the importance of education and communication within our field and provide a venue for public involvement with the astrobiology community. The JPL tour is a unique aspect of this year's meeting, and comes at an especially exciting time for the lab, just after the Curiosity rover's (MSL) landing at Mars. At JPL participants will view active laboratories and mission development relevant to astrobiology.

For more information, please visit our website: http://abgradcon.org or email 2012abgradcon2012@gmail.com.

NASA is accepting applications from science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students for its 24th Annual Planetary Science Summer School, which will hold two separate sessions this summer (18-22 June and 16-20 July) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. During the program and pre-session webinars, student teams will carry out the equivalent of an early mission concept study, prepare a proposal authorization review presentation, present it to a review board, and receive feedback. By the end of the session, students will have a clearer understanding of the life cycle of a space mission; relationships between mission design, cost, and schedule; and the tradeoffs necessary to stay within cost and schedule while preserving the quality of science. Applications are due March 28, 2012. Partial financial support is available for a limited number of individuals. For more information: http://pscischool.jpl.nasa.gov.

A workshop to be held at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore MD, April 9-10, 2012.

The problem of the faint early Sun has been around for many years, and it boils down to this: We presume that the Sun started its life on the zero-age main sequence (ZAMS) with essentially the same mass that it has today, given the low flux of the solar wind, and we presume that our understanding of the physics of the Sun at that stage is reasonably good. Evolutionary models of the ZAMS Sun then predict that it had about 70% of its current luminosity.

That low luminosity is a problem when combined with what we know about the early atmosphere of the Earth because if the Earth's surface were to become covered in ice then the albedo would be high enough to prevent the young planet from recovering. The usual way out of this dead-end is to provide the early Earth with a reducing atmosphere that leads to a strong greenhouse effect, keeping the surface fairly toasty, or at least non-frozen.

We know the early Earth had liquid water on its surface, and we know that the young Mars did as well. Of course both planets may have had greenhouse atmospheres, but perhaps our understanding of the ZAMS Sun is incomplete.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together scientists from a number of disciplines to discuss the state of knowledge of the young Sun and the young solar system. We will involve leading experts from geochemistry, geophysics, planetary science, solar physics, and stellar astronomy. Among the questions to be addressed are:

* How much do we know of the early Earth's atmosphere and the planet's surface?
* Was there a reducing atmosphere sufficient to produce a greenhouse effect?
* How much glaciation occurred at those early epochs?
* What other effects related to the Earth itself can account for liquid water?
* What limits can we set on the state at different times of the atmosphere and surface of early Mars?
* What limits on the state of the ZAMS Sun can be set from observing stars, from the solar system, and from the Sun itself?

Registration and abstract deadline: March 15, 2012
Registration fee: $100 until March 15, $150 after.

For more information: http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/faint-sun

Release Date: February 14, 2012
Notice of Intent to propose Due: March 16, 2012, through January 25, 2013
Proposals Due: May 4, 2012, through March 22, 2013

NNH12ZDA001N, entitled "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences - 2012 (ROSES-2012)," can be accessed by opening the NASA Research Opportunities home page at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ (choose "Solicitations" followed by "Open Solicitations"). This NASA Research Announcement (NRA) solicits proposals for supporting basic and applied research and technology across a broad range of Earth and space science program elements relevant to one or more of the following NASA Research Programs: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics.

This ROSES NRA covers all aspects of basic and applied supporting research and technology in space and Earth sciences, including, but not limited to: theory, modeling, and analysis of SMD science data; aircraft, stratospheric balloon, suborbital rocket, and commercial reusable rocket investigations; development of experiment techniques suitable for future SMD space missions; development of concepts for future SMD space missions; development of advanced technologies relevant to SMD missions; development of techniques for and the laboratory analysis of both extraterrestrial samples returned by spacecraft, as well as terrestrial samples that support or otherwise help verify observations from SMD Earth system science missions; determination of atomic and composition parameters needed to analyze space data, as well as returned samples from the Earth or space; Earth surface observations and field campaigns that support SMD science missions; development of integrated Earth system models; development of systems for applying Earth science research data to societal needs; and development of applied information systems applicable to SMD objectives and data.

There is widespread concern about biodiversity declines across all organizational levels, particularly given that human actions may be driving a mass extinction event comparable to those seen in the geological record. As a result, the research community is seeking tools to understand the condition of biodiversity and how it is changing over time. To address biodiversity loss as a global issue requires us to integrate research efforts across multiple spatial and temporal scales and observe biodiversity at all of its levels of organization.

To catalyze progress in our understanding of biodiversity patterns, processes, and change, the NASA Biodiversity Program is soliciting proposals in conjunction with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Dimensions of Biodiversity Program for FY 2012. Through Dimensions of Biodiversity, NSF seeks to transform how we describe and understand the scope and role of life on Earth.

While NSF typically supports research at fine to coarser spatial scales, NASA, with its use of satellite imagery, generally supports research at coarse to finer scales. There is consequently strong complementarity in the research funded by the two agencies. This NASA-NSF partnership promotes the use of satellite remote sensing within the broad context of efforts at NSF to understand biodiversity and how it is changing across multiple dimensions and spatial scales.

This amendment presents the final text for the Biodiversity Program, announces a joint solicitation with NSF, and indicates that proposals should be submitted to the NSF not NASA. Proposals are due April 10, 2012.

On January 23, 2012, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2011" (NNH11ZDA001N) was posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ (select "Solicitations" then "Open Solicitations" then "NNH11ZDA001N"). You can now track amendments, clarifications, and corrections to ROSES and subscribe to an RSS feed at: http://nasascience.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/roses-2011

Questions concerning Biodiversity may be addressed to Woody Turner, Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001; Telephone: (202) 358-1662; Email: Woody.Turner@nasa.gov

2012 CRISM Data Users Workshop

The 2012 MRO/CRISM Data Users Workshop will be held in association with the 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, The Woodlands, Texas. The workshop will be held in the Shenandoah Room, at 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, on Sunday March 18, 2012 (the Sunday afternoon of LPSC week).

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) has been in operation since late 2006 and has acquired over 20,000 high spatial and spectral resolution targeted observations of the Martian surface. The 2009 CRISM Data Users' Workshop introduced the data set to the community, described data products in detail, and trained attendees on using CRISM-specific software to analyze the data.

At this second workshop, CRISM team members will review significant updates to PDS-delivered CRISM data products including updated radiometric calibration of both visible and near-infrared (VNIR) and infrared (IR) images, and implementation of a data filtering procedure that addresses systematic and stochastic instrument noise. In addition, a new family of highly derived CRISM data products - the Map Projected Targeted Reduced Data Record (MTRDR) product set - will be described in detail, and the utility of this product suite for scientific investigations will be demonstrated. The MTRDR product set represents a major advance in the accessibility of CRISM-derived spectral information and is expected to become the CRISM data product of preference for a large portion of the scientific community.

All attendees are requested to register for this event, and due to available space, attendance will be limited to the first 50 registrants. To register, please visit the workshop registration site at:https://secwww.jhuapl.edu/CRISM_Workshop/registration.aspx

School title: Origins of the Building Blocks for Life

Location: Palacio de Magdalena, Santander, Cantabria, Spain

Dates: June 18 - June 22, 2012
Application deadline: March 16, 2012 (NAI scholarships)
Application deadline: March 30, 2012 (CIFAR scholarships)

The 2012 International Astrobiology Summer School will be held at the summer campus of the Spanish National University (UIMP), Palacio de la Magdalena, Santander, Spain on June 18-22. This year's theme is "Origins of the Building Blocks for Life." Confirmed lecturers include: George Cody, Carnegie Institution of Washington; Jamie Elsila, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Karen Meech, University of Hawaii; and Alessandro Morbidelli, Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, Nice.

For more information and to download the scholarship applications, visit http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/UIMP/2012/

The school is co-sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and the Spanish Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB), with additional support from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and the Astrobiology Society.

The Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the area of exoplanet exploration, including observational investigations and/or instrumentation development. The successful applicant will carry out independent research on the detection of exoplanets and characterization of exoplanetary systems and their parent stars, with emphasis on exploring the conditions for habitability.

Applicants must send a current CV with list of publications, contact information for 3 professional references, and a 1-2 page statement of research interests to Professor Jon A. Morse (jmorse@rpi.edu).

Potential applicants may wish to review the current research activities of the NY Center for Astrobiology at: http://www.origins.rpi.edu/origin.html

and consider how she/he could complement and enhance its portfolio, then include such ideas in the research statement.

Applicants must have a PhD (or foreign degree equivalent) in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, planetary science, or related field. The initial appointment is for 1 year beginning as early as July 2012, renewable for up to 2 additional years pending satisfactory review and availability of funding.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a strong institutional commitment to diversity and is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Planetary protection involves preventing biological contamination on both outbound and sample return missions to other planetary bodies. Numerous areas of research in astrobiology/exobiology are improving our understanding of the potential for survival of Earth microbes in extraterrestrial environments, relevant to preventing contamination of other bodies by organisms carried on spacecraft. Research is required to improve NASA's understanding of the potential for both forward and backward contamination, how to minimize it, and to set standards in these areas for spacecraft preparation and operating procedures. Improvements in technologies and methods for evaluating the potential for life in returned samples are also of interest.

Notices of Intent are now due on June 29, 2012.

Proposals are now due September 5, 2012.

This change is being made so that the due dates occur on work days. Go to: http://nspires.nasaprs.com/

Questions concerning the Planetary Protection Research Program, may be addressed to

Cassie Conley cassie.conley@nasa.gov 202-358-3912

The National Research Council's Space Studies Board has merged the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) and the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life (COEL) to create the new Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Sciences (CAPS). The prime functions of CAPS will be to monitor the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Vision and Voyages planetary science decadal survey and in the reports drafted under the aegis of COEL and COMPLEX, and to act as the organizing committee for future studies in the areas of astrobiology and planetary science (e.g., the mid-term assessment of the decadal survey). Philip Christensen (Arizona State University) and J. Gregory Ferry (Pennsylvania State University) have agreed to serve as the co-chairs of CAPS. Seventeen additional individuals have been identified and have agreed to serve on the committee, pending approval by the NRC's Executive Office. CAPS will hold its first face-to-face meeting on 23-25 May in the National Academies' Keck Center, 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20001. Additional details about CAPS will be posted on its website at: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/SSB/SSB_067577

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP)

The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) offers scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research at NASA Centers. Each NPP fellowship opportunity is designed to advance NASA research in a specific project related to space science, earth science, aeronautics, exploration systems, lunar science, astrobiology, or astrophysics.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in hand before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing the degree requirements. U. S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and foreign nationals eligible for J-1 status as a Research Scholar may apply.

Stipends start at $50,000 per year, with supplements for high cost-of-living areas and for certain academic specialties. Financial assistance is available for relocation and health insurance, and $8,000 per year is provided for professional travel.

Applications are accepted three times each year: March 1, July 1, and November 1.

For further information and to apply, visit: http://nasa.orau.org/postdoc/description/index.htm

Questions may be submitted by e-mail to nasapostdoc@orau.org

NASA is accepting applications from science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students for its 24th Annual Planetary Science Summer School, which will hold two separate sessions this summer (18-22 June and 16-20 July) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. During the program and pre-session webinars, student teams will carry out the equivalent of an early mission concept study, prepare a proposal authorization review presentation, present it to a review board, and receive feedback. By the end of the session, students will have a clearer understanding of the life cycle of a space mission; relationships between mission design, cost, and schedule; and the tradeoffs necessary to stay within cost and schedule while preserving the quality of science. Applications are due March 28, 2012. Partial financial support is available for a limited number of individuals. Further information is available at: http://pscischool.jpl.nasa.gov

A team of researchers from NAI's Montana State University Team has proposed a new path in the evolution of biological nitrogen fixation on Earth. Nitrogen is one of the most important elements for life on Earth, and astrobiologists have long been interested in its role in the history and evolution of life.

Nitrogen is abundant on our planet as an atmospheric gas. However, in order for Nitrogen to be accessible for life, it must be converted into other chemical forms. A key step in the global cycling of nitrogen is biological nitrogen fixation, which is accomplished via a protein known as 'nitrogenase.' Three forms of nitrogenase are known - all similar, but containing slightly different metallic complexes. Previously, scientists thought the most common nitrogenase found today (which contains the element molybdenum (Mo)) appeared later in life's evolution that the two lesser-found forms (containing vanadium (V) or iron(Fe)). The new study has revealed an evolutionary path that places Mo-dependent nitrogenase earlier than the V and Fe forms. The study is changing views of how this important biological pathway evolved through time - shedding light on the early history of life on Earth.

The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology under lead author Eric S. Boyd. The research was carried out as part of the NAI project "Evolution of Nitrogen Fixation, Photosynthesis, Hydrogen Metabolism, and Methanogenesis."

Water Earths in the Near-Infrared

A team of researchers including members of NAI's Virtual Planetory Laboratory Team have examined the potential of detecting oceans on terrestrial-sized exoplanets by using observations in the near-infrared (NIR). Previously, it had been suggested that oceans on distant, rocky worlds could be identified by observing variabilities in scattered light. However, the team suggests that such observations could be difficult due to atmospheric scattering. On Earth, this scattering is reduced at certain wavelengths in the NIR.

Based on scattering in Earth's atmosphere, the team modeled two wavebands of light in the NIR that could be useful in the hunt for extrasolar oceans. The team confirmed that observations at NIR wavelengths are better for detecting oceans than those at visible wavelengths - but only when aerosols in the planet's atmosphere are thin and cloud cover is minimal. Ultimately, the team concluded that observing Earth-like worlds in the NIR could help detect water vapor and other atmospheric constituents that absorb light.

The paper, "Searching for Water Earths in the Near-Infrared" was published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Brazilian Astrobiology Group Joins NAI

Please join the NAI in welcoming its newest International Partner, the University of Sao Paulo (USP) Research Unit in Astrobiology (NAP-Astrobio), under the direction of Jorge Ernesto Horvath and Douglas Galante. NAP-Astrobio is a virtual organization reporting to the Research Provost of the University of Sao Paulo. Its purpose is to provide a structure for virtual scientific collaboration as well as the organization of meetings, seminars, and schools. It currently includes Sao Paulo state researchers as well as colleagues distributed countrywide and abroad.

The NAI and NAP-Astrobio envision that this partnership will focus initially on the following areas: establishing high-fidelity communication links (e.g., videoconference capability) between US and Brazilian researchers to facilitate communication and collaboration; identifying Brazilian research field sites of mutual interest to both Brazilian and US astrobiology researchers; the exchange of research scientists and students in support of collaborative research; and cooperation in training programs for students and early career investigators.

Planetary protection involves preventing biological contamination on both outbound and sample return missions to other planetary bodies. Numerous areas of research in astrobiology/exobiology are improving our understanding of the potential for survival of Earth microbes in extraterrestrial environments, relevant to preventing contamination of other bodies by organisms carried on spacecraft. Research is required to improve NASA's understanding of the potential for both forward and backward contamination, how to minimize it, and to set standards in these areas for spacecraft preparation and operating procedures. Improvements in technologies and methods for evaluating the potential for life in returned samples are also of interest.

For Appendix C.18, The Planetary Protection Research Program, Notices of Intent are now due on June 29, 2012, and Proposals are now due September 5, 2012. This change is being made so that the due dates occur on work days.

On or about March 9, 2012, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2012" (NNH12ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and will appear on the RSS feed at: http://nasascience.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/roses-2012

Table 2 and Table 3 of the Summary of Solicitation for this NRA will be updated to reflect these changes.

Questions concerning Appendix C.18, The Planetary Protection Research Program, may be addressed to Cassie Conley, Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001. Email: cassie.conley@nasa.gov; Telephone: 202-358-3912.

RNA Origins in Sheets of Clay

An example of the mineral montmorillonite (Pen for scale). This sample comes from the mineral collection of Brigham Young University Department of Geology, Provo, Utah. Photograph by Andrew Silver.

One popular hypothesis for the origin of life suggests that the nucleic acid, RNA, performed two important roles: RNA stored genetic information and also catalyzed the chemical reactions that helped get life started. A hurdle in this route to life is that we don't know how the first RNA molecules themselves were formed. A new study supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and led by James Ferris of NAI's New York Center for Astrobiology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Team may further our understanding of the 'RNA world' hypothesis.

RNA molecules are built from smaller pieces (a.k.a. monomers). When pieced together to form RNA, these monomers must be 'activated' - in other words, they need to be switched 'on' and chemically ready to react with other molecules. This produces a strand of RNA that could be useful in the RNA world scenario.

A new study is shedding light on this step in the process. The research focuses on montmorillonite - a group of soft minerals that are usually found in the form of clay and occur naturally on Earth. Previous work has shown that activated nucleic acids can be formed when montmorillonite minerals are present to catalyze the reaction. However, not all montmorillonites are catalytic - and the new research is helping us understand why. The extent of catalysis depends on the magnitude of the negative charge between layers of montmorillonite minerals, the number of negatively charged ions that produce this charge, and also the pH at which the reaction occurs.

The study also reveals new characteristics of the RNA molecules formed by montmorillonite catalysis, and is beginning to unravel the mechanism by which montmorillonite helps RNA form.

Scientists are not sure if montmorillonite or nucleic acids were present on the early Earth, but it is possible. Additionally, the recent discovery of montmorillonite on Mars raises questions about whether or not a similar process could have occurred on the red planet.

The study, "The role of montmorillonite in its catalysis of RNA synthesis" was published in the journal Applied Clay Science under lead author Michael F. Aldersley and coauthors Prakash Joshi, Jonathan Price and James Ferris.

Please join in welcoming NASA Astrobiology Program Postdoctoral Fellow Arsev Aydinoglu to the NAI Central team! He is a social scientist studying NAI's current collaborative practices. He will provide insight and recommendations for their evolution and improvement, particularly with respect to remote communication, data sharing and analysis across distance, collaborative problem solving, interdisciplinary science, and institutional identity.

Arsev received his Ph.D. in Information Science from the College of Communication and Information, at the University of Tennessee, where he investigated the emergence of DataONE, a multidisciplinary, multiinstitutional, and multinational distributed organization to develop a cyberinfrastructure to deposit, share, and preserve earth sciences data.

Arsev's plan for his time at the NAI involves two phases, in phase 1 he will assess the current collaborative practices regarding (i) communication behaviors; (ii) data and information behaviors; (iii) collaborative work and interdisciplinary interaction; and (iv) institutional identity. In the second phase he plans to integrate and interpret the data to provide insights and recommendations to NAI management in order to improve efficient communication, data sharing, collaborative analysis and problem solving; to foster interdisciplinary science and collaborative work; and to strengthen institutional identity.

The NAI Origin of Life Focus Group will host monthly online seminars featuring talks by one established researcher and one early career researcher on topics that are both central to the origin of life and interesting to the broader scientific community. Please join us for this inaugural seminar and spread the word to your friends and colleagues.

Date/Time: Tuesday, March 6th, at 11-12:30pm Pacific Time

Featuring two presentations:

Steven Benner (Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, Distinguished Fellow) "Understanding the Chemistry Behind Origins"

Sara Imari Walker (Beyond Center @ Arizona State University, NASA Astrobiology Program Postdoctoral Fellow)

"Not Understanding the Physics of Origins"

Participation Instructions

The slides and audio/video for this meeting will be presented using Adobe Connect. To join the meeting, connect to: http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/oolseminar/

Date/Time: Monday, March 5, 2012 11:00 AM Pacific

Presenter: Michael Hecht (Princeton University)

Abstract: The entire collection of genes and proteins in all the living systems on earth comprises a minuscule fraction of sequence space. From the enormous diversity of possible gene and protein sequences, billions of years of evolution selected only a very small collection of "molecular parts" that sustain living organisms (only ~4,000 genes in E. coli and ~20,000 in humans.) These considerations might lead to an assumption that the sequences that enable life are unusual or special. Is this true? Or can sequences designed from scratch sustain the growth of living cells?

To address these questions, we designed and constructed a collection containing millions of artificial proteins (a model 'proteome') encoded by a library of synthetic genes (an artificial 'genome'). Structural studies show that many (perhaps most) of our novel proteins fold into stable 3-dimensional structures. Next, we used genetic selections to demonstrate that several of these novel proteins provide biochemical functions that are essential for the growth of E. coli. Thus, artificial sequences, which never before existed on earth, possess activities that sustain life.

This initial foray into artificial genomics suggests (i) the molecular toolkit for life need not be limited to genes and proteins that already exist on earth; (ii) the construction of artificial genomes composed of non-natural sequences is within reach; and (iii) it may be possible to devise synthetic organisms that are sustained by de novo designed proteins encoded by novel genomes.

For more information and participation instructions visit: http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/seminars/detail/200 . Participation requires only an Internet connection and a browser.