Chemistry Of Life Projects

PAH Spectroscopy for Everyone

Thursday, January 01 2009 - 2:09 pm, PST
The goal of this project is to develop a publicly accessible web-based interface to our database of spectroscopic information, and to provide the tools needed to download, inspect, analyze and interpret the data.

Enantiomeric and Isotopic Analysis of Sugar Derivatives in Carbonaceous Meteorites

Monday, December 15 2008 - 2:55 pm, PST
Analysis of the sugar -related compounds found in meteorites, to provide insight into the synthesis of organic molecules in space.

From Large PAHs to Very Small Grains: The Mid-IR Spectrum of the Interstellar Medium

Friday, December 05 2008 - 2:07 pm, PST
A comprehensive study of the spectral characteristics of carbonaceous species with the goal of understanding the effects of size, molecular structure, clustering, and charge on the spectra, and allowing us to more accurately interpret the emission characteristics of the interstellar medium.

Biofuels for Sustainable Space Exploration

Monday, September 01 2008 - 10:33 am, PDT
Research into sustainable energy sources for NASA’s long-term missions, with analysis of two of the most promising biofuel feedstocks: cellulose and algae.


Geochemical and Astrobiological Studies on Martian Aqueous Solutions at Subzero Temperatures

Friday, August 01 2008 - 4:43 pm, PDT
Study of aqueous minerals on Mars and testing of a novel methodology to search for traces of current and past life in these minerals.

Detailed Studies of Amorphous and Crystalline Ice in the Solar System

Friday, August 01 2008 - 2:17 pm, PDT
Study of the conditions under which amorphous and crystalline ices form, modeling of the surface environments of outer solar system objects, and development of rules for ice formation in the outer solar system.

sugar model

Prebiotic Synthesis of Autocatalytic and Self-Replicating Molecules from Sugars as the Primary Carbon Source

Monday, June 30 2008 - 2:19 pm, PDT
A study of the chemical processes on the primitive Earth that generated the first autocatalytic molecules and microstructures involved in the origin of life.

An Experimental Study of the Generation and Enantiomeric Enrichment of Sugars and Amino Acids in Cometary Impacts

Monday, May 19 2008 - 2:52 pm, PDT
A study of how comets deliver sugars and amino acids to planets to further our understanding of the events that may have led to the origin of life.

An Automated Meteoroid Orbit Survey to Measure the Fragmentation History of (Mostly) Dormant Comets in the Near Earth Orbit Population

Tuesday, May 06 2008 - 10:19 am, PDT
Testing of the hypothesis that the disintegration of dormant comets is the dominant contribution of dust to the zodiacal cloud.

Modeling the Origin and Early Evolution of Life

Monday, September 24 2007 - 2:15 pm, PDT
This study develops techniques for the analysis of astrobiological samples, including laboratory modeling of processes and characterization of known biogeological materials as a benchmark against which to compare field samples.