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Astronomy - Astrobiology | From Fossils to Astrobiology - Records of Life on Earth and the Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

From Fossils to Astrobiology

Records of Life on Earth and the Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

Seckbach, Joseph, Walsh, Maud (Eds.)

2008, XXXVI, 546 p.

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  • Provides a valuable overview of established and emerging techniques for evaluating modern and ancient microorganisms on Earth and beyond
  • Contains diverse, critical reviews of paleontological and taphonomic studies of life in the Universe
From Fossils to Astrobiology reviews developments in paleontology and geobiology that relate to the rapidly-developing field of Astrobiology, the study of life in the Universe. Many traditional areas of scientific study, including astronomy, chemistry and planetary science, contribute to Astrobiology, but the study of the record of life on planet Earth is critical in guiding investigations in the rest of the cosmos.  In this varied book, expert scientists from 15 countries present peer-reviewed, stimulating reviews of paleontological and astrobiological studies.  The overviews of established and emerging techniques for studying modern and ancient microorganisms on Earth and beyond, will be valuable guides to evaluating biosignatures which could be found in the extraterrestrial surface or subsurface within the Solar System and beyond.  This volume also provides discussion on the controversial reports of "nanobacteria" in the Martian meteorite ALH84001.  It is a unique volume among Astrobiology monographs in focusing on fossil evidence from the geological record and will be valuable to students and researchers alike.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » AgroMicro - Astrobiology - Biofilm - Evolution - Extraterrestrial Life - Fossil Record - Life on Mars - Paleontology - history of life - microbe - microbes - microorganism - the origin

Related subjects » Astrobiology - Ecology - Geology - Microbiology

Table of contents 

Foreward, Joseph Seckbach and Maud Walsh. Introduction: A Roadmap to Fata Morgana?, Wladyslaw Altermann. List of authors and their addresses. GEOLOGY PART 1: Fossils and Fossilization Nanosims Opens a New Window for Deciphering Organic matter in Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Samples, Dorothy Z. Oehler, Francois Robert, Smail Mostefaoui, Anders Meibom, Madeleine Selo, David S. McKay, and Everett K. Gibson Disentangling the Microbial Fossil Record in the Barberton Greenstone Belt: A Cautionary Tale, Maud M. Walsh and Frances Westall Looking through Windows onto the Earliest History of Life on Earth and Mars, David Wacey, Nicola McLoughlin, and Martin D. Brasier Models for Silicate Fossils of Organic Materials in the Astrobiological Context, Vera M. Kolb and Patrick J. Liesch Microfossil Phosphatization and Its Astrobiological Implications, Shuhai Xiao and James D. Schiffbauer Proterozoic Unicellular and Multicellular Fossils from India and Their Implications, Vinod Chandra Tewari PART 2: Stromatolites, Microbial Mats, and Biofilms Stromatolites, B.P. Burns, M.R. Walter, and B.A. Neilan Biosedimentological Processes that Produce Hot Spring Sinter Biofabrics: Examples from the Uzon Caldera, Kamchatka, Russia, Jessica C. Goin and Sherry L. Cady Cyanobacterial Mat Features Preserved in the Siliciclastic Sedimentary Record, Hubertus Porada and Patrick G. Eriksson Deciphering Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Life and the Origin of Animals: Common Challenges in Different Worlds, Jonathan Antcliffe and Nicola McLoughlin BIOLOGY PART 3: Terrestrial Microbes as Analogs for Life Elsewhere in the Universe Microorganisms in the Ancient Terrestrial Subsurface – And in Outer Space?, Helga Stan-Lotter, Sergiu Fendrihan, Marion Dornmayr-Pfaffenhuemer, Friedrich Gerbl, Andrea Legat, Claudia Gruber, and Gerhard Weidler Evidence of Ancient Microbial Life in a Large Impact Structure and Its Implications for Astrobiology - A Case Study, Tomas Hode, Shery L. Cady, Ilka von Dalwigk and Per Kristiansson Phylogenomic Dating and the Relative Ancestry of Prokaryotic Metabolisms, Carrine E. Blank Fossil Microorganisms at Methane Seeps: An Astrobiological Perspective, Roberto Barbieri and Barbara Cavalazzi Endoliths in Terrestrial Arid Environments: Implications for Astrobiology, Nunzia Stivaletta and Roberto Barbieri Magnetotactic Bacteria and Their Potential for Terraformation, Ioan I. Ardelean, Cristina Moisescu, and Dan Razvan Popoviciu PART 4: Evolution and Astrobiology Paleontological Tests: Human-Like Intelligence Is Not a Convergent Feature of Evolution, Charles H. Lineweaver Cosmic Life Forms, Attila Grandpierre SPACE SCIENCES PART 5: Astronomical and Cosmological Considerations in Astrobiology Astronomical and Astrobiological Imprints on the Fossil Records: A Review, J. Chela-Flores, G. Jerse, M. Messerotti, and C. Tuniz Do Impacts Really Cause Most Mass Extinctions?, Donald R. Prothero Irradiation of Icy Cometary Analogs: Its Relevance in Reference to Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life, Maria Colin-Garcia, A. Negron-Mendoza, S. Ramos-Bernal and E. Chacon The Big Bang at Time Zero, Peter R. Bahn and Steven H. Pravdo Molecular Imprints of Reaction Network: Living or

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