ASTROBIOLOGY: Emergence, Search and Detection of Life

Edited by
Vladimir A. Basiuk, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy (
    January 2010
500 pages, Hardcover, Color images
IISBN: 1-58883-137-X

According to a brief definition, astrobiology is an area of modern knowledge which studies the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the Universe. The main aspects of astrobiology include experimental and theoretical modeling of the prebiotic and early biological evolution of Life on Earth or elsewhere; the search for present or past Life, biological or prebiotic molecules on other space bodies in our Solar System (for example Titan, Europa, Mars); the search for habitable environments in our Solar system as well as habitable planets outside it; studies of the ability of different Life forms to adapt to new environmental factors on Earth and in space. This explains why it is hard to find another example of a multidisciplinary field, which brings together collective efforts of experts in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, spectroscopy, geology, volcanology, analytical and space instrumentation, among others. The present edition would be impossible without involving a similar list of scientists as contributors. The book is organized into three general sections and contains 19 chapters written by international experts in the field.

Searching for a Second Genesis
Section I: Cosmochemistry of Molecules of Life
Cosmochemistry of the Biogenic Elements C, H, N, O, and S
The Stellar Stew: Distribution of Extraterrestrial Organic Compounds in the Universe
Mechanisms of Organic Reactions in Interstellar Medium, Jean-Claude Guillemin
Role of Radiation Chemistry in the Origin of Life, Early Evolution and in Transportation Through Cosmic Space
Extraterrestrial Organic Matter as Recorded in Meteorites
High-Molecular-Weight Complex Organics in Interstellar Space and Their Relevance to Origins of Life
Section II: From Simple Molecules to Primitive Terrestrial Life
Abiotic Organic Synthesis Beneath the Ocean Floor
On the Limits Imposed to Life by the Hyperarid Atacama Desert in Northern Chile
The Role of Clay Interactions in Chemical Evolution
Mineral-Induced Peptide Formation
The Origin of Homochirality
An "Ecosystems First" Theory of the Origin of Life Based on Molecular Complementarity
Microbial Signatures in the Precambrian Files
Section III: Search and Detection of Life Elsewhere
Search for Habitable Planets,
Analytical Astrobiology: The Role of Raman Spectroscopy in Biomarker Speciation for Extraterrestrial Life Detection
Solid Carbonaceous and Organic Matter in Space, Macromolecular Complexes, Biomarkers, and Microarray-Based Instrumentation for In Situ Detection
Titan: New Insights from Cassini-Huygens
The Ocean of Europa and Implications for Habitability and the Origin of Life
  And much more ……………..


This book is a valuable reference source for scientists, engineers and researchers involved in the multidisciplinary field of astrobiology connected with biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, spectroscopy, geology, volcanology, analytical and space instrumentation for exploration of life in the Universe.

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