Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Virtual Planetary Laboratory Biological Pigments Database

By Keith Cowing
August 20, 2013
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Virtual Planetary Laboratory Biological Pigments Database

The NAI team, Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL), is interested in how to determine if planets orbiting others stars exhibit signs of life, “biosignatures.”

To foster further research into planetary biosignatures, VPL has for several years made available to the scientific community the VPL Spectral Database, which has included molecular line lists and stellar spectra. We are happy to announce the addition of the VPL Biological Pigments Database. The pigments database includes contributions by many scientists of absorbance spectra of biological pigments, with metadata of contributor names and publications, and significant features of the data. Data sets include different chlorophylls, bacteriochlorophylls, carotenoids, screening compounds for UV protection, and more continue to be added.

It is intended that the availability of these data sets will encourage further investigations into the expression of biosignatures from the interactions between life and stellar radiation. Members of the scientific community are encouraged to download these data sets, and especially to contribute additional spectra.

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