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2003 Annual Science Report

Pennsylvania State University Reporting  |  JUL 2002 – JUN 2003


4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

This last year saw significant progress on several related projects. We published a paper on the carbon isotopic fractionation in Prokaryotes. We also had several publications related to Leg 201 of the ocean drilling program related to the subsurface microbial ecosystem. Finally, we have papers in press in Geobiology and Astrobiology. The former paper uses genomics to deduce the most geologically plausible early metabolism for the Archaea. We have also continued to make great progress in studying trace metals in microbial communities, exploring tungsten extraction by Pyrobaculum aerophilum, exploring trace anaerobic methane oxidation in methanogens, observing oxygen tolerance by Methanosarcina, and creating a gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) method for analyzing the carbon isotopic composition of ribonucleic acid (RNA).

    Christopher House Christopher House
    Project Investigator
    Susan Brantley Susan Brantley
    Katherine Freeman Katherine Freeman
    Zhidan Zhang
    Research Staff

    Jennifer Biddle
    Graduate Student

    Vyllinniskii Cameron
    Graduate Student

    Jim Moran
    Graduate Student

    Aubrey Zerkle
    Graduate Student

    Objective 4.1
    Earth's early biosphere

    Objective 5.2
    Co-evolution of microbial communities

    Objective 5.3
    Biochemical adaptation to extreme environments

    Objective 6.1
    Environmental changes and the cycling of elements by the biota, communities, and ecosystems

    Objective 7.2
    Biosignatures to be sought in nearby planetary systems