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Astrobiology, a New Multidisciplinary Journal, Dedicates Premier Issue to Gerald Soffen
Astrobiology, a New Multidisciplinary Journal, Dedicates Premier Issue to Gerald Soffen
7 Apr 2001
(Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.)

Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

The premier issue of Astrobiology, an innovative multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that deals with fundamental questions about life's origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny in the universe, has been launched by publisher Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Editor in chief of the new journal is Sherry L. Cady, Ph.D., of the Department of Geology of Portland State University, Portland, OR. It is published both in print and online.

"Astrobiology provides a forum for investigators around the world to disseminate original research papers and reviews and to share their findings," said Dr. Cady, who heads the Geomicrobiology Electron Microscopy Laboratory at Portland State. "Scientists are intrigued by the questions posed by astrobiology and its implications for addressing complex environmental and health concerns of this new millennium. Advances in biomedical research, biotechnology, genomics, and bioinformatics will make contributions to this field."

Volume 1, Number 1 of Astrobiology is dedicated to one of the founding fathers of astrobiology, the late Gerald A. Soffen (1926-2000), National Aeronautics & Space Administration project scientist for the Viking missions that landed on Mars in 1976 and a guiding light in the creation of the new NASA Astrobiology Institute, a virtual organization designed to meld interdisciplinary research at various institutions via the internet. A tribute to Dr. Soffen by Michael A. Meyer entitled "A Lasting Legacy" and a remembrance by H. P. Klein are featured in the issue.

"Astrobiology in its broadest sense is developing as an area of distinct academic endeavor," said Mary Ann Liebert in announcing the new publication. "This quarterly journal, which will be published both in print and online, will play an important role in the growth of this fascinating field."

The journal's international editorial board includes 75 noted scientists from 16 countries whose expertise covers the fields of meteoritics, cosmochemistry, gravitational biology, planetary geology and habitability, exobiology, microbial paleobiology, ecogeology, origins of life, bioastronomy, life detection and space exploration technology, microbial ecology, genomics, computational biology, and proteomics, among others.

The first issue include a focus paper on the NASA astrobiology program, plus six research papers on topics ranging from a new approach to life detection on other planets to the geology and habitability of Mars, as follows: "A Non-Earthcentric Approach to Life Detection," "Cave Biosignature Suites: Microbes, Minerals, and Mars," "Microbial Influences on Local Carbon Isotopic Ratios and Their Preservation in Carbonate," "Location and Sampling of Aqueous and Hydrothermal Deposits in Martian Impact Craters," "The Physics, Biology, and Environmental Ethics of Making Mars Habitable," and "Importance of a Martian Hematite Site for Astrobiology." For a complete table of contents and authors, a listing of editorial board members, and subscription information, visit

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishes authoritative peer-reviewed journals in the most promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Cloning and High Altitude Medicine and Biology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's publications is available at

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Two Madison Avenue, Larchmont, NY 10538 (914) 834-3100.

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Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001