Astrobiology (general): September 2006

Within a climate of changing structure, leadership, and definition of Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) at NASA, NAI's E/PO Coordinator, Daniella Scalice, delivered a session on NAI's "NASA and the Navajo Nation" project this week at the 118th Annual Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), co-hosted with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.

Microbial Diversity in the Deep Sea and the Underexplored Rare Biosphere - Presenter: Julie Huber:
10/16/2006 11:00 AM PDT: The world's oceans are teeming with microscopic life forms. The staining of cells with DNA-binding dyes (DAPI and acridine orange) coupled with epifluorescence microscopy demonstrated that nominal cell densities exceed 105/ml of sea water.

NASA HQ Internal Memo: John Rummel To Become Senior Scientist for Astrobiology at NASA SMD Planetary Sciences Division

"Taking Carl [Pilcher's] place will be Dr. John D. Rummel. As Senior Scientist for Astrobiology in SMD's Planetary Sciences Division, John will have overall program management responsibility for the Astrobiology Program, including the NAI and other activities in astrobiology and exobiology research and analysis, astrobiology instruments development, and programs to test and validate the performance of such instruments in a variety of analog field environments considered "extreme" for life on Earth."

Exotic Earths: Forming Habitable Worlds with Giant Planet Migration, Science

Earth-like Planets May Be More Common Than Once Thought, University of Colorado at Boulder

"More than one-third of the giant planet systems recently detected outside Earth's solar system may harbor Earth-like planets, many covered in deep oceans with potential for life, according to a new study."

Fall AGU Session: Biofilms in the environment: Adaptive roles, microbe-mineral interfaces, and contributions to global biogeochemical cycles

In most natural environments microbial communities are associated with surfaces in structures known as "biofilms". Numerous observations from terrestrial and marine subsurface settings, hot springs, and acidic mine drainage attest to the importance of the biofilm mode-of-life.