Team Research

Astrobiology is the study of the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. This interdisciplinary field requires a comprehensive, integrated understanding of biological, geological, planetary, and cosmic phenomena. Astrobiology encompasses the search for habitable envi ronments in our Solar System and on planets around other stars; the search for evidence of prebiotic chemistry or life on Solar System bodies such as Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa, and Saturn’s moon Titan; and research into the origin, early evolution, and diversity of life on Earth.

Astrobiologists address three fundamental questions: How does life begin and evolve? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? What is the future of life on Earth and beyond? UHNAI addresses these questions by focusing their investigation the origin, history, and distribution of water and its relation to life in the universe.

What’s Happening in Research

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New species discovered beneath ocean crust

Former NAI postdoc Alberto Robador’s new paper, published this week in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, garners attention. Some press releases: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/uosc-nsd011415.php http://www.latimes.com/science/scien… Read more »

Martian Clay Veins

UH Astrobiologists Find Martian Clay Contains Chemical Implicated in the Origin of Life

Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa NASA Astrobiology Institute (UHNAI) have discovered high concentrations of boron in a Martian meteorite. When present in its oxidized form (borate), boron may have played a key role in the formation of RNA, one of the building blocks for life. The work was published on June 6 in PLOS One.