Recently in the Astrobiology (general) Category

Are humans unique and alone in the vast universe? This question-- summed up in the famous Drake equation--has for a half-century been one of the most intractable and uncertain in science.

The first scientific Roadmap for European Astrobiology was published on March 21st. This strategic landmark for European astrobiology has been produced through the European Commission-funded AstRoMap project (2013-2015).

Ken Souza, Space Biologist

Keith's note: I was deeply saddened to learn that my long time friend Ken Souza died suddenly yesterday. Ken was probably the first NASA life scientist I got to know when I started with NASA in the mid-1980s.

Are we alone in the universe? To answer this question, astronomers have been using a variety of methods in the past decades to search for habitable planets and for the signals from extraterrestrial observers.

Research from the University of Washington-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory published Feb. 26 in Astrophysical Journal Letters will help astronomers better identify -- and thus rule out -- "false positives" in the search for life beyond Earth.

The Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Astrobiology Program establishes a focus in the nation's capital for the exploration of issues surrounding life's future in the universe, for humans and other species, on Earth and beyond.

Over the past two years 800 members of the astrobiology community have contributed, through in person meetings, white papers, a series of webinars and reviews, to define a new strategy for the next decade of astrobiology research. Mary Voytek, the Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, and Michael New, the Astrobiology Discipline Scientist, described the goal of the endeavor to create an "inspirational and aspirational" document. The strategy will replace the 2008 Astrobiology Roadmap.

Today the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee helad a hearing that reviewed the scientific methods employed to search for life, examine recent scientific discoveries in the field of astrobiology (the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe), and assess the prospects of finding life beyond Earth over the next decade.

Tree of Life for 2.3 Million Species Released

A first draft of the "tree of life" for the roughly 2.3 million named species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes -- from platypuses to puffballs -- has been released.

We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars.