SETI Institute Projects and Programs (Listed Chronologically)

Intracellular Redox Control for Adaptation and Survival in Planetary Environments

Thursday, April 01 2010 - 4:38 pm, PDT
This project is centered around the hypothesis that exposure to environmental extremes results in intracellular oxidative stress, which is modulated by the elemental content of cells. We are using X-ray fluorescence imaging and X-ray transmission microscopy at SSRL (Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource) to map the elemental composition of halophilic cyanobacteria from the Atacama desert and of green algae, and determine changes that may represent responses to transient fluctuations in the environment. Linking these with the genomic and molecular changes in cells helps uncover a possible mechanism of adaptation and evolution.

An Observing Campaign to Study the Re-Entry of Hayabusa

Thursday, April 01 2010 - 4:17 pm, PDT
This cooperative agreement is to support an airborne and ground-based observing campaign to study the physical conditions experienced during re-entry by the HAYABUSA sample return capsule and bus over Australia in June of 2010.

Integrated Field Science and Exploration Activities in a Relevant Underwater Environment - Lessons for the Human Scientific Exploration of the Moon and Mars

Tuesday, March 23 2010 - 4:29 pm, PDT
The described work will provide high-fidelity science, science operations, mission operations, and technology constraints to help NASA plan for future human exploration of the Moon, Mars and other planetary bodies.

Analysis of Automated Transfer Vehicle Reentry Observations

Friday, March 19 2010 - 4:16 pm, PDT
The new work is an extension of the reentry observing campaign executed in September and October of 2008 under cooperative agreement NNA06CA84A. The new work specifically pertains to the analysis of spectroscopic data obtained during this campaign.

Oxidative Stress Responses in Altered Gravity

Monday, March 01 2010 - 4:41 pm, PST
This project looks at the role of oxidative stress responses in the adaptation to changes in the gravity vector, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. Transcriptional changes in antioxidant cellular systems are mapped in targeted RNAi mutants and linked to the intracellular biochemical alterations that occur in gravity transitions. The goal is to chart the gene networks responsive to gravity stress.

Microbial Ecology of Early Earth and Modern Artificial Environments

Wednesday, February 24 2010 - 4:00 pm, PST
If we are to understand complex microbial communities we need to understand not only the microbes themselves but their community dynamics as well.

Investigating Post-Equinox Changes on Uranus

Sunday, November 01 2009 - 5:07 pm, PST
None at this time

Organic Aerosols in the Early Earth Atmosphere: Reaction Network an Its Isotope Signature

Thursday, October 01 2009 - 10:09 am, PDT
Experimental simulations of Titan's atmospheric and surface chemistries in order to understand the formation of complex organic molecules as well as the abiotic formation of prebiotic molecules, providing important clues to the origin of life on the early Earth.

Type 2 MMAMA Proposal: Integrated Field Science and Exploration Activities in a Relevant Underwater Environment

Wednesday, September 09 2009 - 10:58 am, PDT
A multi-disciplinary underwater study to understand the factors influencing microbialite morphogenesis in Lake Pavilion, British Columbia. This study is also used to identify the human factors in exploration of a foreign environment, providing useful information for the design of human missions to the Moon and Mars.

Monitoring Active Atmospheres on Uranus and Neptune

Tuesday, September 01 2009 - 2:02 pm, PDT
Snapshot observations of Uranus and Neptune to further understand the changes in the atmospheric bands and bright spots of these two dynamic planets.