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2014 Annual Science Report

Pennsylvania State University Reporting  |  SEP 2013 – DEC 2014

Biosignatures of Ancient Rocks - Hedges Group

Project Summary

Our work involves the design, assembly, and release to the public of a tree of life calibrated to geologic time (timetree). It is needed by astrobiologists to help determine the source of biomarkers for the presence of life in the geologic record.

4 Institutions
3 Teams
1 Publication
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

The NAI research of Blair Hedges mainly concerns the refinement of the tree of life scaled to geologic time (i.e., the timetree of life). This information helps to relate chemical and geological biomarkers in the rock record to organisms that may have produced those biomarkers. In turn this provides a better understanding of biosphere evolution, and identifying possibly universal mechanisms and pathways applicable to life on other planets. The Hedges group has now contributed a review on the origin of life for Oxford Bibliographies in Evolutionary Biology.

    S. Blair Hedges
    Project Investigator

    Tiffany Cloud

    Sudhir Kumar

    Lee Kump

    Julie Marin

    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 7.1
    Biosignatures to be sought in Solar System materials

    Objective 7.2
    Biosignatures to be sought in nearby planetary systems