Welcome to Life And Space 2022 Conference!
Time Table for LAS22 Events
Opening and Intoduction 17:40 (CET) 11:40 (EST) 8:40 (PST)
The Role of Meteorite Impacts in the Origin and Evolution of Life
Impact cratering is one of the most ubiquitous geological processes in the Solar System. Over the past decade, it has become clear that impact events have profoundly affected the origin and evolution of Earth. The destructive geological, environmental, and biological effects of meteorite impact events are well known. This is largely due to the discovery of the ~200 km diameter Chicxulub impact structure, Mexico, and its link to the mass extinction event that marks the end of the Cretaceous Period 66 Myr. ago. In recent years, it has also become apparent that, once formed, impact events also have certain beneficial effects, particularly for microbial life. The effects range from generating conditions conducive for the origin of life (e.g., clays, which form catalysts for organic reactions, and hot spring environments) to varied habitats for life that persist long after an impact event, including hydrothermal systems, endolithic habitats in shocked rocks and impact glasses, and impact crater lakes. This may have important implications for our understanding of the origin and evolution of early life on Earth, and possibly other planets such as Mars.
Networking Break - 19:00 (CET) 13:00 (EST) 10:00 (PST)
Session - 19:20 (CET) 13:20 (EST) 10:20 (PST)
This session will integrate all aspects of the scientific study of planets and their planetary systems, from astronomy to geology. We will discuss concepts such as habitability or the potential for life in the past, both in our Solar System and beyond.
Session - 20:20 (CET) 14:20 (EST) 11:20 (PST)
In the biosignatures session, we will focus on detecting substances (element, isotopes, molecules, etc.) or phenomenons that provide scientific evidence of past or present life.
Closing the Day 21:40 (CET) 15:40 (EST) 12:40 (PST)
Parallel Sessions - 15:20 (CET) 09:20 (EST) 06:20 (PST)
Extremophiles determine the physical limits of life on Earth. In this session, we will discuss adaptations to the most extreme environments the what they can tell us about the prospect of life elsewhere.
Networking Break - 17:40 (CET) 11:40 (EST) 08:40 (PST)
Ion reactions as pathways to complex molecules in space and atmospheres
Among the multitude of molecules detected in space and in the atmospheres of planets, including our own, ions have been known to play an important role. During the processes of star formation and evolution ion reactions of have been invoked as intermediate steps in the build-up of complex organic molecules (COMs), which can function as missing link in the formation of prebiotic molecules. Such biomolecule precursors can be delivered to planetary surfaces by accretion as well as comet and asteroid impacts and act as starting points for the formation of the building blocks of life. In addition, a multitude of ions including protonated nitriles and other nitrogen-containing compounds have been observed by the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) and the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) in the atmosphere of the Kronian satellite Titan. It is therefore necessary to investigate possible formation and destruction pathways of these complex species in the interstellar medium and planetary atmospheres. With increasing complexity, also isomerism of ions gains importance and the different behaviour of isomers of ions upon chemical reactions has to be studied. During the last years, ion traps and guided beam devices have been successfully employed to investigate ion-neutral processes. We investigated the chemical reactions of isomers of nitrogen-containing ions using guided beam machines and their vibrational spectra using infrared photodissociation spectroscopy in a cold ion trap. The role of these species in the build-up of COMs in the interstellar medium and planetary ionospheres is discussed.
Networking Break - 19:20 (CET) 13:20 (EST) 10:20 (PST)
Parallel Sessions - 19:40 (CET) 13:40 (EST) 10:40 (PST)
Gathering spectroscopic information from observatories and recreating cosmic conditions in laboratories, astrochemistry allows building models of cosmic chemistry. In this session, we will discuss the composition and reactions of atoms, molecules, and ions in space.
This event will be streamed via our YouTube channel and on our Facebook Page
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Artificial intelligence in Search for life
We invite you to our fascinating panel about the use of artificial intelligence in search for life. We’ve invited experts who will discuss what kind of equipment is used and what signs are we looking for to find potential life, as well as experts from the satellite industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. This exciting variety will undoubtfully fruit in a very interesting discussion that will go smoothly from the theoretical background to actual modern usage. As always, there will also be a Q&A part, to which we invite all of you! This is a unique opportunity to dispel your doubts and ask questions. We hope we will see you there!
15:00 (CET) 09:00 (EST) 06:00 (PST)
Parallel Sessions - 15:40 (CET) 09:40 (EST) 06:40 (PST)
Parallel Sessions - 17:00 (CET) 11:00 (EST) 08:00 (PST)
Synthetic biology is a multidisciplinary area of research that seeks to create new biological parts, devices, and systems or to redesign systems that are already found in nature. These efforts can help understand the origin of life and enable human space exploration in which biological systems will complement classical engineering.
Networking Break - 17:40 (CET) 11:40 (EST) 08:40 (PST)
Star Trek meets ET: (synthetic) biology as an enabling technology for space exploration
Synthetic biology – the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes – is transforming fields from fuels to pharmaceuticals and beyond. Our lab has pioneered the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize two areas of interest to NASA: astrobiology and as an enabling tool for exploration. Synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet Earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, can we create organisms that expand the envelope for life, for example, radiation resistance? For exploration, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. But once life itself is seen as an enabling technology, we can do so much more. What about the exploration platforms themselves? Using fungi to build structures off planet? Using peptides to recycle metals from integrated circuits and provide the raw materials to build new structures in space? Building materials? Using DNA as a scaffold to create wires a atom or two in thickness? Producing pharmaceuticals and other small molecules in small quantities, on demand? Finally, Will this technology work in space? The PowerCell payload on the DLR EuCROPIS mission is designed to do just that.