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A 'Follow The Energy' Approach for Astrobiology

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 22:32:30 -0500
Archived: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 22:32:30 -0500
Subject: A 'Follow The Energy' Approach for Astrobiology

Source: SpaceRef.Com - Reston, Virginia, USA


Monday, December 10, 2007

Date Released:
Source: Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

A 'Follow The Energy' Approach for Astrobiology

All conceivable life forms, whether earthly or extraterrestrial,
require an energy source, and scientists are increasingly
employing a "Follow the Energy" approach in the search for signs
of habitability and life beyond Earth, as described in a report
in the December 2007 Special Issue (Volume 7, Number 6) of
Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann
Liebert, Inc. The paper is available free online at

Tori Hoehler, from NASA Ames Research Center, Jan Amend, from
Washington University in St. Louis, and Everett Shock, from
Arizona State University, present the concepts behind this
strategy in a paper entitled, "A 'Follow the Energy' Approach
for Astrobiology." As pointed out by the authors, given that
energy is a universal imperative for life, an increased
understanding of energy flow in terrestrial biology and ecology
represents a firm foundation on which to develop an energy-based
approach to a variety of astrobiological questions. In
describing how energetic considerations can simultaneously
refine, quantify, and broaden our concepts of habitability and
biosignatures, the authors propose that a "Follow the Energy"
strategy adds important new elements to the "Follow the Water"
approach, which has guided the last decade of exploration for
life beyond Earth. The paper also serves to introduce a special
issue of Astrobiology that highlights a diverse suite of current
energy-themed research in astrobiology.

"A Follow the Energy approach leads to a new understanding as to
where and how to search for evidence of life in the geological
record, whether on Earth or beyond," says journal Editor, Sherry
L. Cady, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Geology
at Portland State University. "We are becoming more
sophisticated in our ability to determine where life is most
likely to be productive in an ecosystem and which signatures it
may leave behind. This, along with an assessment of the
preservation potential of an environment, affords a more
efficient way to get the job done, an important consideration
when carrying out remote paleontological investigations."

Astrobiology is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published
bimonthly in print and online. The journal provides a forum for
scientists seeking to advance our understanding of life's
origins, evolution, distribution and destiny in the universe. A
complete table of contents and a full text for this issue may be
viewed online at www.liebertpub.com/ast.

Astrobiology is the leading peer-reviewed journal in its field.
To promote this developing field, the Journal has teamed up with
The Astrobiology Web to highlight one outstanding paper per
issue of Astrobiology. This paper is available free online at
www.liebertpub.com/ast and to visitors of The Astrobiology Web
at www.astrobiology.com.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., is a privately held, fully integrated
media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed
journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical
research. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering
& Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is
today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A
complete list of the firm's 60 journals, books, and
newsmagazines is available at www.liebertpub.com.

A "Follow the Energy" Approach for Astrobiology, Astrobiology.
2007, ahead of print pgs. 819-823

Contact: Vicki Cohn,
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.,
(914) 740-2100, ext. 2156,

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
140 Huguenot St., New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215
Phone: (914) 740-2100
Fax: (914) 740-2101

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