Author Archives: Anushree Srivastava

Following the success of the first Grand Tour during 2013 the Australian Center for Astrobiology will repeat the exercise on 15-25 July 2015. As a contribution to the astrobiology community the Australian Centre for Astrobiology will run a field trip to sites that every astrobiologist or geobiologist should see at least once in their lives. It will be a high level educational experience that will enrich the research and teaching programs of the participants. Included will be the extant stromatolites of Shark Bay, the 2.5Ga banded iron formations and an associated iron ore mine of the Hamersley Basin, the putatively cyanobacterial stromatolites of the 2.7 Ga Fortescue Group, and the 3.35-3.49 Ga fossiliferous and other units of the Pilbara Craton with what is arguably the oldest convincing evidence of life on Earth. Expect intense discussions about such topics as the timing of the origin of oxygenic photosynthesis and the composition of…

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Niraja Bapat and Dr. Sudha Rajamani from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, Maharashtra, India, received the Best Poster Award at ‘Origins 2014’, the second joint international conference of ISSOL (The International Astrobiology Society) and Bioastronomy (Commission 51 of the International Astronomical Union) held in Nara, Japan, during 6-11th July, 2014. The award winning poster was titled “Plausible Prebiotic Role of Molecular Crowding in Template Directed Nonenzymatic Replication of Nucleic Acids”. Niraja Bapat is pursuing her doctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Sudha Rajamani at IISER, Pune. The research work presented by her in the conference pertained to understanding the role of enzyme free replication of nucleic acids during the emergence and early evolution of life on prebiotic Earth. “Given that the prebiotic soup would have actually been a complex mixture of many different molecular species, rather than being a concentrated solution of only certain specific types of monomeric molecules, we…

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