Time is TBD|
Daniela Billi - Cyanobacteria from desert to space
This webinar is part of our webinar series Astrobiology Goes to Schools in India. The lecture (13-18 yo) will be open to all, but the RSVP option is currently restricted to Indian schools who registered for our event. Thank you for your understanding and looking forward to your participation!
Time & Location
Time is TBD
About the event
Lecture for 13-18 yo
Cyanobacteria from desert to space
Desert isolates cyanobacteria of the genus Chroococcidiopsis are characterised by an extraordinary desiccation and radiation tolerance. This is a prerequisite needed for astrobiological studies aimed to investigate the limit of life as we know by performing experiments in low Earth orbit by using the facility Expose. This facility is installed outside the International Space Station and allows the exposure of terrestrial life forms to space conditions and Mars-like conditions simulated in low Earth orbit. Results help to unravel survival potential of life as we know as well as the stability and detectability of biosignatures thus contributing to the search for life on Mars. Furthermore the capability of a few Chroococcidiopsis strains to synthetize a new type of chlorophyll that absorbs light beyond the visible region, has implications for the possibility of oxygenic photosynthesis on exoplanets.
About the speaker
Prof. Daniela Billi is leading the Laboratory of Astrobiology and Molecular Biology of Cyanobacteria at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Her research aims to: i) decipher the molecular basis of cyanobacterial adaptation to extreme conditions on Earth with a focus on hot and cold deserts, ii) unravel the survival limit of desert cyanobacteria under non-Earth conditions, by using astrobiology platforms outside the International Space Station and planetary-laboratory simulations, and iii) develop cyanobacteria-based technologies to use in situ resources available on Mars and on the Moon to support human space exploration.