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13 Nov
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Emergent Chemical Behavior in Variable-Volume Protocells

Artificial protocellular compartments and lipid vesicles have been used as model systems to understand the origins and requirements for early cells, as well as to design encapsulated reactors for biotechnology. One prominent feature of vesicles is the semi-permeable nature of their membranes, able to support passive diffusion of individual solute species into/out of the compartment, in addition to an osmotic water flow in the opposite direction to the net solute concentration gradient. Crucially, this water flow affects the internal aqueous volume of the vesicle in response to osmotic imbalances, i

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13 Nov
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Constraining planet structure from stellar chemistry: the cases of CoRoT-7, Kepler-10, and Kepler-93

We explore the possibility that the stellar relative abundances of different species can be used to constrain the bulk abundances of known transiting rocky planets. We use high resolution spectra to derive stellar parameters and chemical abundances for Fe, Si, Mg, O, and C in three stars hosting low mass, rocky planets: CoRoT-7, Kepler-10, and Kepler-93. These planets follow the same line along the mass-radius diagram, pointing toward a similar composition. The derived abundance ratios are compared with the solar values.

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13 Nov
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Ultrastructural Heterogeneity of Carbonaceous Material in Ancient Cherts: Investigating Biosignature Origin and Preservation

Opaline silica deposits on Mars may be good target sites where organic biosignatures could be preserved. Potential analogues on Earth are provided by ancient cherts containing carbonaceous material (CM) permineralized by silica. In this study, we investigated the ultrastructure and chemical characteristics of CM in the Rhynie chert (c. 410 Ma, UK), Bitter Springs Formation (c. 820 Ma, Australia), and Wumishan Formation (c. 1485 Ma, China). Raman spectroscopy indicates that the CM has experienced advanced diagenesis or low-grade metamorphism at peak metamorphic temperatures of 150–350°C. Raman mapping and micro-Fourier transform infrared (micro-FTIR) spectroscopy were used to document subcellular-scale variation in the CM of fossilized plants, fungi, prokaryotes, and carbonaceous stromatolites.

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13 Nov
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Stability and its manifestation in the chemical and biological worlds

Bridging between the phenomenologically distinct biological and physical worlds has been a major scientific challenge since Boltzmann's probabilistic formulation of the second law of thermodynamics. In this review we summarize our recent theoretical attempts to bridge that divide through analysis of the thermodynamic-kinetic interplay in chemical processes and the manner in which that interplay impacts on material stability. Key findings are that the term ‘stability’ manifests two facets – time and energy – and that stability's time facet, expressed as persistence, is more general than its energy facet.

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CSO Approval date: 14/11/2013
Starting date: 15/05/2014
Ending date: 14/05/2018

Action Chair:
Dr. Muriel GARGAUD (FR)

Vice chair:
Prof. Wolf GEPPERT (SE)

STSM Manager:
Prof. Nigel MASON (UK)

Web Manager:
Prof. Elias CHATZITHEODORIDIS (GR)

Secretary:
Dr. Zuzana KANUCHOVA

 

Grant Holder Financial Representative:

Mrs Annick Caperan

Science Officer:
Dr. Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative Officer:
Ms Aranzazu SANCHEZ

 

ORIGINS TD1308

A Trans-Domain Action supported by COST.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020

 

 

Involved countries

View the Interactive Map
of Member Countries

Participating Countries
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

COST International Partner Countries
Canada (UQAM), South Africa (Univ. of Johanesburgh), Russian Federation (Institute of Geology, Petrozavodsk), Australia (University of Sydney), United States of America (University of Hawai)

Specific Organisations
European Space Agency (ESA)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Aiming at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques, and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSMs are intended especially for young PhD researchers, but they are open to senior researchers as well. View the documents at this link.

 It should be explicitely noted that Master students are not eligible for STSMs which are for PhD students and more experienced researchers.

The life-Origins COST Project


Life-ORIGINS (TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action dedicated to the scientific investigation of the origins and evolution of life on Earth and habitability of other planets.

The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.

Individuals are not allowed to use the name of the Action, its logo or any corporate identity of COST TD1308 in any communication without prior approval of the Management Committee.

All publications referencing the support of the Action should be sent to the appropriate Working Group chair at the time of submission.