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Exploring the World of Life Underground
Jan Amend, professor of earth sciences and biological sciences in USC Donslife. Image Credit: USC/Michelle Salzman
Jan Amend, professor of earth sciences and biological sciences in USC Donslife. Image Credit: USC/Michelle Salzman

Jan Amend, professor of earth sciences and biological sciences in USC Dornsife, leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers in an investigation into what life teems within Earth's subsurface biosphere. Their approach could become a template for collecting evidence of life or past life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies such as Mars.

Future life-seeking missions on other worlds may be in for a tough time if all evidence of past or present life is below the surface. In a talk at given for the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI ) Astrobiology Lecture Series, Jan Amend discussed how his team is taking the next step in studying microbes that have conquered the subsurface of the Earth, and how techniques will need to be perfected before they can be successfully used on another planet.

The Planets, Life, and the Universe Lecture Series is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, The Space Telescope Science Institute, the Department of Biology and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences of the Johns Hopkins University, the Space Studies Initiative, and the Ernst Cloos Memorial Scholars Program.

Source: [astrobio.net]

Last Updated: 30 August 2013

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Last Updated: 30 Aug 2013