Conferences and Meetings: December 2009

January 7-8, 2010 (Thursday 1:00-5:15pm and Friday 8:30am-12:00noon)
Marriott Wardman Park, Washington DC

Scientists interested in exoplanet exploration from space-based platforms are encouraged to attend the upcoming meeting of the Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG). You can review the agenda from the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) website listed below. Note that you do not need to register for the AAS in order to attend; it's at the same location, but is a separate meeting.

Taellberg, Sweden - June 14-18, 2010.
Registration Deadline: May 1, 2010
Abstract submission Deadline: February 28, 2010

Conference Poster:

In 2010, AbGradCon, the foremost astrobiology meeting for early-career researchers, will be held in Europe for the first time in its history. Graduate students and early-career postdocs from all over the world will come together to present their research in an informal environment, to learn of the latest developments in astrobiology, to network, and to forge new collaborations. The meeting will comprise oral and poster presentations, half-day workshops and a one-day field trip to geologically instructive sites in the astrobiologically interesting Siljan impact crater. Attendees are encouraged from the very wide range of subjects pertinent to astrobiology. Financial assistance will be available to invited attendees.

Further information is available at the conference website:

[source: NAI Newsletter]

The Planets, Life, and the Universe Astrobiology Lecture Series is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the Space Studies Initiative and the Department of Biology of The Johns Hopkins University.

Upcoming Lectures:

Jamie Elsila Cook (GSFC/Goddard Center for Astrobiology), "Cometary Amino Acids from the STARDUST Mission" Dec 4, 2009, 12:00p - 2:30pm EST

Stephen Mojzsis (University of Colorado), "Habitability of the Hadean Earth" Jan 8, 2010, 12:00pm - 2:30pm EST

More information and webcast information is available at

Loren Williams, "Where Did Protein Come From?"

Date/Time: Tuesday December 8, 2009 2:30PM Pacific

Speaker: Loren Williams (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Abstract: Ribosomes are RNA-based macromolecular machines responsible for the synthesis of all proteins in all living organisms. Ribosomes are the most ancient of life's macromolecules and are our most direct link to the deep evolutionary past, beyond the base of the phyologenetic tree. The recent availability of high resolution 3D structures of ribosomes provides us with new methods of detection and inference. We will discuss methods for resurrection and biochemical characterization of aboriginal ribosomes.

For more information and participation instructions:

[Source: NAI Newsletter]