Molecules and Life in Extremes: The 5th UK Astrobiology Society of Britain Conference, hosted by the UK Centre for Astrobiology (ASB5)



The 5th UK Astrobiology Society of Britain Conference, hosted by the UK Centre for Astrobiology (ASB5)






University of Edinburgh, April 17-19, 2013


To understand the origin of life, how life has persisted on the Earth for over 3.5 billion years and whether we might find it elsewhere, requires that we understand how life and molecules  adapt to extreme environments. The 5th UK astrobiology conference, supported by the UK Space Agency, will explore molecules and life in extremes and the implications for the search for extraterrestrial life


The conference welcomes astronomers, biologists, chemists, physicists and other disciplines that intersect with astrobiology.


The conference marks the 10th anniversary since the founding of the Astrobiology Society of Britain.


Sessions will include: Mars science and exploration, astrobiology outreach, icy bodies research, life in extreme environments, molecules in extreme environments.


Invited speakers include:

Lynn Rothschild (NASA Ames, USA): Synthetic Biology in Space

Jennifer Biddle (Univ. Delaware, USA), What the intraterrestrials can tell us about the search for extraterrestrial life

Frances Westall (CNRS, France): The Search for Life on Mars: Lessons from the early Earth

Andrew Spry (JPL, USA): Planetary Protection

Lorna Dougan (Leeds, UK): Single molecules under extremes

David Holmes (Center for Bioinformatics and Genome Biology, Chile): Iron bioegeochemistry in acid environments

Gerda Horneck (DLR, Germany): Astrobiology in Earth Orbit


Social events will include a Ceilidh, whisky tasting and a conference dinner, giving delegates a true taste of Scotland.


ASB5 is supported by the UK Centre for Astrobiology, the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions, the UK Space Agency, the Royal Astronomical Society. Travel grants are available for early career scientists.


The conference is preceded by an informal opening of the UK Centre for Astrobiology on the evening of April 16th with a public lecture on ‘The Search for Life in the Universe’ by Christopher McKay, NASA Ames Research Centre. Conference delegates are also welcome to sign up.

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