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Organic Biosignatures: Earthly Biomarkers, Analytical Approaches, Old Rocks and Meteorites

Presenter: Roger Summons, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
When: March 22, 2004 11AM PST

A NASA-sponsored Task Force on Biosignatures for Mars Exploration
met at UCSD February 2000 and included leading researchers in all facets of
biosignature detection. They examined a wide range of issues surrounding
the nature and measurement of various kinds of isotopic, mineralogical and
molecular signatures of life. This talk summarizes the finding of the group
working on molecular biosignatures and examines the intrinsic
characteristics of organic molecules that are constructed by living
organisms and discusses features in which these differ from organic
molecules that are produced in abiotic processes. The presentation also
addresses recent progress in the search for molecular biosignatures in
Archean sediments.

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