28 July 2018
This week, the European Space Agency announced that radar data collected by ESA’s Mars Express point to a pond of liquid water buried under layers of ice and dust in the south polar region of Mars. There is a long way between finding liquid brine pools on Mars and finding life. However, there might be a similar place on Earth, the Blood Falls in Antarctica that originate from a hypersaline brine groundwater environment that supports an anaerobic microbial ecosystem sustained by chemical energy. Professor Ian Hawes from Waikato University explains the importance of the discovery from Mars.
Archived: Blog | News
2 November 2017
A new theory that addresses how life arose on Earth, proposes that it originated in an intimate partnership between the nucleic acids (genetic instructions for all organisms) and small proteins called peptides and contradicts the widely-held “RNA-world” hypothesis, which states that life originated from nucleic acids and only later evolved to include proteins. Peter Wills, a New Zealand astrobiologist is the co-author of this study.
Archived: People of Astrobiology
2 November 2017
Life might have colonised land 580 million years earlier than previously thought - and this has also implications for the search for life on Mars. Professor Kathy Campbell from University of Auckland is co-author of a paper published in Nature comms that pushes the evidence for the oldest life on land by 580 million years from 2.9 to 3.5 billion years.
Archived: News | Our Research
23 September 2017
Please join us ‘down under’ for one, the other, or both events in mid-year 2018 Event 1 - Astrobiology Australasia Meeting, Rotorua, New Zealand, 25-29 June, 2018 Event 2 - Astrobiology Grand Tour, Western Australia, 1-9 July 2018 For more information please join the expressions of interest mailing list.
Archived: News | Seminars and Workshops
5 September 2017
NZ scientists seek to unravel the evolutionary origins of DNA. Professor Anthony Poole from University of Auckland has been awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund grant to unravel the evolutionary origins of DNA. What is the story of DNA? The four letters A, T, G and C make up the alphabet of all DNA-based life, but how […]
Archived: News | Our Research | People of Astrobiology