Special Issue "Selected Papers from 8th Astrobiology Society of Britain Conference"

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Astrobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jon Telling
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University, UK
Interests: biogeochemical cycling within the terrestrial cryosphere/deep subsurface; the geochemistry/potential habitability of cold environments eleswhere in the solar system

Special Issue Information

The ASB conference series continues its objective of promoting discussion on UK astrobiology interests in research, education, and outreach and is pleased to announce that the 8th conference of the Astrobiology Society of Britain will take place at Newcastle University, focusing on the topic of ‘Habitability Below the Ice Line’. The conference will begin at 10.00 a.m. on Thursday 25th April and end at 3.30 p.m. on 26th April. Abstracts for oral and poster presentations will be accepted in all aspects of Astrobiology; however, suggested themed sessions are:

  • Habitability of cold and icy environments;
  • ExoMars-related science;
  • In situ and remote sensing of biosignatures and habitability;
  • Applied impact and outreach.

Participants in the conference are cordially invited to contribute original research papers or reviews to this Special Issue of Life.

Dr. Jon Telling
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Nitrates as a Potential N Supply for Microbial Ecosystems in a Hyperarid Mars Analog System
Life 2019, 9(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/life9040079 - 19 Oct 2019
Abstract
Nitrate is common in Mars sediments owing to long-term atmospheric photolysis, oxidation, and potentially, impact shock heating. The Atacama Desert in Chile, which is the driest region on Earth and rich in nitrate deposits, is used as a Mars analog in this study [...] Read more.
Nitrate is common in Mars sediments owing to long-term atmospheric photolysis, oxidation, and potentially, impact shock heating. The Atacama Desert in Chile, which is the driest region on Earth and rich in nitrate deposits, is used as a Mars analog in this study to explore the potential effects of high nitrate levels on growth of extremophilic ecosystems. Seven study sites sampled across an aridity gradient in the Atacama Desert were categorized into 3 clusters—hyperarid, middle, and arid sites—as defined by essential soil physical and chemical properties. Intriguingly, the distribution of nitrate concentrations in the shallow subsurface suggests that the buildup of nitrate is not solely controlled by precipitation. Correlations of nitrate with SiO2/Al2O3 and grain sizes suggest that sedimentation rates may also be important in controlling nitrate distribution. At arid sites receiving more than 10 mm/yr precipitation, rainfall shows a stronger impact on biomass than nitrate does. However, high nitrate to organic carbon ratios are generally beneficial to N assimilation, as evidenced both by soil geochemistry and enriched culturing experiments. This study suggests that even in the absence of precipitation, nitrate levels on a more recent, hyperarid Mars could be sufficiently high to benefit potentially extant Martian microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 8th Astrobiology Society of Britain Conference)
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