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2009 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

Bioastronomy 2007 Meeting Proceedings

Project Summary

The 9th International Bioastronomy coneference: Molecules, Microbes and Extraterrestrial Life was organized by Commission 51 (Bioastronomy) of the International Astronomical Union, and by the UH NASA Astrobiology team. The meeting was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 16-20 July 2007. During the reporting period the Proceedings were finalized and will have a publication date of 2009.

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3 Teams
0 Publications
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Project Progress

The meeting held during July 2007 in San Juan Puerto Rico hosted 234 participants, for which there were 19 invited talks, 57 contributed oral talks and 113 poster presentations. The conference was organized around four broad themes: the origin of prebiotic material in space and delivery to the earth, investigation of the habitable worlds in the solar system and the building blocks of life, the origin of early life and its co-evolution with the environment and extrasolar planets and biosignatures. The proceedings were edited by members from several NAI teams, in include 60 papers organized into the following sections: * How Early Could Life Originate in the Universe [5 papers] * The Nature of Interstellar Organics [5 papers] * Organic Material in Comets, Meteorites, and IDPs [2 papers] * Life in the Outer Solar system [1 paper] * Mars as a Setting for Life [4 papers] * Space Missions to Comets: Stardust and Deep Impact [1 paper] * Prebiotic Chemistry [4 papers] * Origins of Viruses and Cellular function [2 papers] * Life in Extreme Environments [7 papers] * Co-Evolution of Life and the Environment on Early Earth [2 papers] * Life Beyond (or Without) the Earth [1 paper] * Extrasolar Planets / Planet Formation [6 papers] * Habitable planets and their Stars [4 papers] * Biosignatures [2 papers] * SETI [8 papers] * Education and Outreach [4 papers]

In addition, the book includes the Astrobiology glossary that was developed for the meeting, and which is being maintained as a resource for the astrobiology community by NAI central. The book, which has a publication date of 2009, will be shipped in early 2010.

Cover of Astronomical Society of the Pacific volume 420 which contains the astrobiology papers produced from the 9th Bioastronomy meeting held in San Juan Puerto Rico, July 16-20, 2007.

    Karen Meech
    Project Investigator

    Jacqueline Keane

    Michael Mumma

    Janet Siefert

    Daniel Werthimer

    Objective 1.1
    Formation and evolution of habitable planets.

    Objective 1.2
    Indirect and direct astronomical observations of extrasolar habitable planets.

    Objective 2.1
    Mars exploration.

    Objective 2.2
    Outer Solar System exploration

    Objective 3.1
    Sources of prebiotic materials and catalysts

    Objective 3.2
    Origins and evolution of functional biomolecules

    Objective 3.3
    Origins of energy transduction

    Objective 3.4
    Origins of cellularity and protobiological systems

    Objective 4.1
    Earth's early biosphere.

    Objective 4.2
    Production of complex life.

    Objective 4.3
    Effects of extraterrestrial events upon the biosphere

    Objective 5.1
    Environment-dependent, molecular evolution in microorganisms

    Objective 5.2
    Co-evolution of microbial communities

    Objective 5.3
    Biochemical adaptation to extreme environments

    Objective 6.1
    Effects of environmental changes on microbial ecosystems

    Objective 6.2
    Adaptation and evolution of life beyond Earth

    Objective 7.1
    Biosignatures to be sought in Solar System materials

    Objective 7.2
    Biosignatures to be sought in nearby planetary systems