XVI International School of Astrobiology "Josep Comas i Solà". Santander, June 25-29, 2018.

Between June 25 and 29, 208, the XVI International School of Astrobiology "Josep Comas i Solà" was held at the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander. The Summer School, entitled in this edition "Biomarkers: signs of life through space and time" , has been organized by the Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA), the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) and the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), with the collaboration of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Escuela has been co-directed by Miguel Mas (director of the CAB) and Rory Barnes (professor of the Department of Astronomy in the Astrobiology Program of the University of Washington, USA, as representative of the NAI). The organization, for its part, was run by Carlos Briones, from the Department of Molecular Evolution of the CAB. 36 students attended, of which 17 were American and the others came from Spain and other European countries.

The sixteenth edition of this School has focused on the subject of biomarkers (morphological, chemical, isotopic, etc.) that can allow the discovery of biological processes, as well as in the present technologies or future to detect them. With this we have tackled one of the main objectives of astrobiology: the search for life on planets or satellites whose physical-chemical characteristics allow the appearance and maintenance of an active biology during geological time scales. The detection of signs of life requires detailed knowledge of the environment of the planetary body, so that it is possible to determine what measurements and observations may reveal the presence of extinct or current life.

Classes have focused on the search and characterization of biomarkers in primitive Earth, Mars, ice satellites and exoplanets. For this, in this edition we have had four professors of great international relevance: Laurie Barge (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA), Aki Roberge (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA), Jörn Peckmann (Universität Hamburg, Germany) and Víctor Parro ( Center of Astrobiology).

In addition, during the week the students have participated in discussions on the subject, preparing and presenting work in groups. As in previous editions, the School has focused mainly on graduate students in different branches of science and engineering, but has been open to all participants interested in the interdisciplinary framework provided by astrobiology.

As a parallel activity within the School, on Tuesday the 26th there was an excursion to two important enclaves geological, historical and artistic: the Museum and Neocueva of Altamira, and the cave of El Soplao. Additionally, on Wednesday 27 in the afternoon, Víctor Parro gave a scientific dissemination talk, entitled "Search for life on Mars ... and beyond." & Nbsp;

After the presentation of the work done by the students, the final and final part of this XVI edition of the School of Astrobiology was the ceremony of awarding diplomas to students.

 

Fuente: Carlos Briones, miembro del Departamento de Evolución Molecular del CAB y Organizador de la XVI International School Of Astrobiology

 

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