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Objectives and Structure

Participation

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Program (26/Apr/06)

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Workshop on
"Strategies for Life Detection"


  24- 28 April, 2006
Bern, Switzerland

 “To improve and adapt our current strategies of how to find life beyond Earth by increasing our understanding of biosignatures in an interdisciplinary approach.”

CONVENORS
JEFFREY L. BADA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, USA
ROGER-MAURICE BONNET, ISSI, Bern, Switzerland
OLIVER BOTTA, NASA Goddard Space Center, Greenbelt, USA
JAVIER GOMEZ-ELVIRA, Centro de Astrabiologìa, Madrid, Spain
EMMANUELLE JAVAUX, University of Liège, Belgium
MINIK ROSING, Geological Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
FRANCK SELSIS, CRAL/ENS, Lyon, France
ROGER SUMMONS, MIT, Cambridge, USA


Pre-Workshop
Information
(for participants)

Circulars
1st (Circular)
• Abstract Submittal
• Talks: Everything
  you need to know

• Session Chair
  Preparation
• Facilities

2nd (Circular)
• Information about
  Wednesday trip to
  Basel and Workshop
  Dinner
• Reminder for Speakers:
   Abstract submittal

• Reminder: Travel and
   hotel arrangements
•  Important Dates and
   Contact Information


Travel Logistics
• How to get a: 
   ° hotel reservation
   ° per diem
• Getting to Bern
• And more . . .


Deadlines


 




OBJECTIVES and STRUCTURE


The Workshop is intended to foster the interdisciplinary exchange between the biology, chemistry, planetary science and instrumentation communities. Over the last decade, scientists searching for the earliest forms of life on Earth have applied different strategies to detect morphological, chemical and isotopic biosignatures or biomarkers. The controversies over the validity of some of these results emphasize the difficulties associated with finding traces of life even on the Earth. The search for past or present life on another planet, where only limited resources are available, creates even bigger technological challenges. The results of the Automated Life-Detection Experiments on board the Viking Landers have not provided unambiguous results about their search for life on Mars. Moreover, these instruments were designed to detect extant life at the surface, while no attempt was made to search for extinct Martian life. Future missions, including Mars Science Laboratory and ExoMars, are planned to carry instruments to search for traces of extinct or extant life on the surface or in the subsurface of Mars. Can life detection strategies on Earth be applied to other planets? Do we expect to find the same type of biosignatures on Mars as on the Earth? What should in-situ instruments be designed to search for? Is there a minimal set of parameters that allows a positive detection? What are the technological challenges? What are the sample selection strategies for a Mars Sample Return mission?    
Future space-based telescopes will have the ability to search for and characterize Earth-like planets around other stars. Spectroscopic signatures in the atmospheres of such planets may be used to determine if it harbours life. Which are unambiguous signatures? What are potential abiotic signatures that mimic biological processes? What are the technological challenges?
 

As the final outcome of the workshop will be the publication of a volume in the ISSI Space Science Series, we have organized the workshop sessions around the chapters of the book.  These chapters include the following: 1) Fundamentals of Life/Planetary Habitability, 2) Life Signatures & Detection Methodologies in the Search for Traces of Life on Earth and Elsewhere, 3) In-Situ Instrumentation to Search for Life in the Solar System, 4) Remote Life Detection Strategies for Planets, This book is intended to serve as a reference for future international missions focused on the search for life and biomarkers on Mars and other bodies as well as missions aimed at search and characterization of extrasolar habitable planets.

For more information about other ISSI workshops, please click on the "Workshop Schedule" link on the ISSI homepage >>.

PARTICIPATION


Participation in all ISSI workshops is by invitation only. List of participants can be found here.


DEADLINES


13 February 2006 
Abstract Submission Deadline
06 March 2006
Deadline to sign up for Wednesday excursion.  Please don't forget to let Oliver Botta know if you have any dietary constraints besides vegetarian.
27 March 2006
Deadline for setting up an ISSI wireless internet account
27 March2006
Deadline for sending travel arrangements to Ms. Fasler so that she can book your hotel room.




CONTACTS at ISSI
International Space Science Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, CH 3012 Bern, Switzerland
phone: +41 31 631 xx xx
fax: +41 31 631 48 97


Contact
Email
Phone
Scientific Program Dr. Oliver Botta, Visiting Assistant Research Scientist botta @ issi.unibe.ch  
Computer, A/V issues Mr. Saliba Saliba, System Administrator saliba @ issi.unibe.ch 32 51
Logistical Information Ms. Brigitte Fasler, Secretary fasler @ issi.unibe.ch 48 96
Not sure who to contact?
Dr.Oliver Botta, Visiting Assistant Research Scientist botta @ issi.unibe.ch  


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