Thank you very much for your humble response. I will definitely contact Dr. Pandey in time of need. Will definitely stay in touch.
Once again, Thank You very much!
My name is Eva Zanditenas, I am in my final year of biotechnology (in Paris) and I looking for an internship of six months to conclude my studies.
I am passionate about astrobiology, and it is my dream to realize my last internship in this field.
So I need your help with two thinks :
The first is to find an astrobiology lab whish takes interns and proposes Ph.D.
The second is to find a scholarship or fellowship to help me with my expenses during these six months. Do you know institutes or associations that propose a scholarship?
Thank you in advance for your help.
This is a pretty tough question, because there's a lot of science fiction out there (and I've only read so much of it), and there are an infinite number of possible lifeforms we might find on other worlds. There's a wide range of conditions in our own solar system that could support life, not to mention all the exoplanets we've discovered (literally thousands!), many of which are in the theoretical "habitable zone." That said, I have my personal favorites.
In film, I love the aliens in James Cameron's "The Abyss." They were modeled on comb jellies and were designed to look like they live on an ocean world, under the intense pressures experienced in the deep ocean. Much of NASA's search for life involves exploring ocean worlds, because life as we know it relies on water as a solvent, and because our oceans contain a vast diversity of life and geochemical reactions (reactions between rock and water) that support complex ecosystems at hydrothermal vents. Plus, Cameron's Abyss aliens are bioluminescent, which is just so pretty. Overall I just think it's a very well-researched film, including a great scene where they demonstrate how liquid breathing could be used for really deep dives using a rat- no special effects, they really show a rat breathing liquid! I highly recommend checking out the director's cut of the film if you can, as it contains some great extra scenes that really round out the story.
As far as books go though, I cannot speak highly enough of Peter Watts's "Blindsight." The aliens in "Blindsight" feel truly alien. They can tolerate huge amounts of radiation- enough to kill a human in several hours- and they live without oxygen despite being multicellular, going dormant for long periods of time to conserve energy. An important plot point is that despite being highly intelligent, these aliens are not self-aware, and do not experience consciousness as we understand it. The book is incredibly well-researched and provides a list of references to real scientific studies to back up the design of the aliens and the tech used on the spaceship that carries the protagonists to the point of first contact. It discusses how consciousness might have evolved and how it might be a drawback rather than an advantage. Also there are vampires. No really. Best of all, Watts publishes all his work under creative commons, so you can read his books for free here: https://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm
I hope this helps, but I'm sure other folks on here can also chime in with their personal favorites!
What to do to be a astrobiologist?
Here is are two links that hopefully, you'll find helpful!
https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/ (scroll down the FAQ's)
Thanks for reaching out. Sorry that we didn't get to ask your question to Dr. Barge during AAA. We couldn't find a way to quickly distill it for a quick "ask".
I read your question again, and unfortunately, I don't know enough about the field of science you are coming from to give you a meaningful response. I would encourage you to learn about the research of Dr. Sara Imari Walker, who comes closest to what I think you are asking:
You also might want to check out one of her papers that comes to my mind:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1207.4803 "The Algorithmic Origin of Life"
Great question! All data from NASA is made available to the public and usually can be found online. The most typical place for data to be archived is the Planetary Data System, which you can find here: https://pds.nasa.gov/
You could also try the specific website of the mission you are interested in and follow the links.
The PDS website also includes some description of how the data is stored and how you might start with analysis.
In general, you will want to learn some programming skills in order to understand the techniques of data analysis. Python is a popular choice today among astronomers and biologists, but any modern language should work. I hope this helps!
Thank you very much for these useful suggestions Jacob.
I'm currently attending Virginia Tech as an undergraduate. I read the career path suggestions sheet posted by NASA as well as some other pages on astrobiology career paths, and I was curious about what roles engineers play with astrobiologists. Most of these career sheets said nothing about engineering, so I was curious are there any engineering majors that work closely with astrobiologists. If so which ones and how do they interact with them, or are there some engineers that have become astrobiologists? Also, who designs the collection systems for soil samples from mars? Are these people Mechanical engineers? Mining engineers?