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Origins 2011 – Abstracts

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O2b: Contributed Orals – Biosignatures and Clues of Life (continued)
Time: Monday, 04/Jul/2011: 5:45pm - 6:30pm
Session Chair: Mikhail Fedonkin
Location: Auditorium Pasteur


Detection of methanogene archaea in Mars-like environment: a systematically approach of RAMAN analysis for biosignature detection

Jean-Pierre Paul de Vera1, Ute Böttger1, Janosch Malaszkiewicz2, Dirk Wagner2, Jörg Fritz3, Heinz-Wilhelm Hübers1,4

1German Aeraospace Center (DLR e.V.), Inst. of Planetary Research, Berlin, Germany; 2Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research, Research Unit Potsdam; 3Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany; 4Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Optik und Atomare Physik, Berlin, Germany

The origin of methane on Mars is unknown. It might originate from geothermal or biological activities. To identify the origin of methane a number of gas detectors are on their way to Mars. RAMAN spectroscopy is foreseen to be used for life detection. It can be used for detection of methane producing microorganisms (biogenic source of methane). The presentation of a systematically approach for detection of methane producing archaea in a Mars-like environment might give insights in this method.

How much is not enough? Understanding the Astrobiology potential from very minute samples and the astrobiology case of the Encleadus plume

Luther Beegle, Everett Salas, Rohit Bhartia

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, United States of America

We compare the amount of material in each particle emanating from Enceladus, to terrestrial biology to determine what types of conclusions can be made for extant life under the Enceladus ice sheet. One comparison we will draw is the distribution of organic material in a single bacterial cell and consider the distribution of organics and microbes in different terrestrial environments.

Thermal stability of carbonates: a physical signature for detecting life on Mars

Fabien Stalport1, Sébastien Dupraz5, Patrice Coll1, Cyril Szopa2, Alain Person3, Rafael Navarro-González4, Bénédicte Menez5, Michel Cabane2, Patrick Ausset1, Marie-Joëlle Vaulay6

1LISA, France; 2LATMOS, France; 3Laboratoire de Biominéralisations et Paléoenvironnements; 4Laboratorio de Química de Plasmas y Estudios Planetarios; 5IPGP; 6ITODYS, France

The search for life on Mars is a key objective. As life on Earth produces biominerals, an alternative approach on Mars could be “follow the minerals”. Carbonates are important biominerals. We investigated their thermal degradation as a possible way to discriminate those of biological origin from those of geochemical origin. Here we show that the thermal resistance in the decomposition of carbonates can potentially be used as a physical signature in the search for life on Mars in future missions.