Aims and scope

The subject of the origin and early evolution of life is an inseparable part of the general discipline of Astrobiology. The journal Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres places special importance on the interconnection as well as the interdisciplinary nature of these fields, as is reflected in its subject coverage. While any scientific study which contributes to our understanding of the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the Universe is suitable for inclusion in the journal, some examples of important areas of interest are: prebiotic chemistry and the nature of Earth's early environment, self-replicating and self-organizing systems, the theory of the RNA world and of other possible precursor systems, and the problem of the origin of the genetic code. Early evolution of life - as revealed by such techniques as the elucidation of biochemical pathways, molecular phylogeny, the study of Precambrian sediments and fossils and of major innovations in microbial evolution - forms a second focus. As a larger and more general context for these areas, Astrobiology refers to the origin and evolution of life in a cosmic setting, and includes interstellar chemistry, planetary atmospheres and habitable zones, the organic chemistry of comets, meteorites, asteroids and other small bodies, biological adaptation to extreme environments, life detection and related areas. Experimental papers, theoretical articles and authorative literature reviews are all appropriate forms for submission to the journal. In the coming years, Astrobiology will play an even greater role in defining the journal's coverage and keeping Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres well-placed in this growing interdisciplinary field.