Origins 2011 – Abstracts
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O2b: Contributed Orals – Biosignatures and Clues of Life (continued)
Detection of methanogene archaea in Mars-like environment: a systematically approach of RAMAN analysis for biosignature detection
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
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
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.