Investigating life processes in extreme environments not only can provide hints on how life first appeared and survived on Earth (as early earth was an extreme environment) but it can also give indication for the search for life on other planets.
To examine these issues and other matters the European Science Foundation (ESF) has published a 58-page report Investigating Life in Extreme Environments - A European Perspective. Among other issues, the report has stated how global changes in the recent decades have turned some environments setting into becoming "extreme" conditions for the normal ecosystems (e.g. acidification of the oceans). Therefore the understanding of tolerance/adaptation/non-adaptation to extreme conditions and ecosystem functioning are able to help predicting the impact of global change on biodiversity.
This report is resulted from an ESF inter-committee initiative involving the Marine Board (MB-ESF), the European Polar Board (EPB), the European Space Science Committee (ESSC), the Life Earth and Environmental Sciences Standing Committee (LESC), the Standing Committee for Humanities (SCH) and the European Medical Research Councils (EMRC). This interdisciplinary initiative considered all types of life forms (from microbes to humans) evolving in a wide range of extreme environments (from deep sea to acidic rivers, polar regions or planetary bodies).
A series of recommendations were made from a large-scale interdisciplinary workshop (128 participants) organised in November 2005 with an additional workshop organised in March 2006. They have identified interdisciplinary (listed below) and disciplinary research priorities.
Cross-cutting Scientific Recommendations
* Identify and agree on i) model organisms in different phyla (a group that has genetic relationship) and for different extreme environments; and ii) model extreme environments
* Favour an ecosystem-based multidisciplinary approach when considering scientific activities in extreme environments.
* Foster the use of Molecular Structural Biology and Genomics when considering life processes in extreme environments
Cross-cutting Technology Recommendations
* Laboratory simulation techniques and facilities (e.g. microcosms) should be wider developed and made available to the scientific community.
* Develop of in-situ sampling, measurement and monitoring technologies. The assessment and use of existing techniques is also recommended.
* Adopt a common approach (specific to research activities in extreme environments) on technology requirements, availability and development.
Structuring and Networking the Science community
* Favorise interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity approaches between scientific domains and between the technological and scientific spheres.
* Create as soon as possible an overarching interdisciplinary group of experts to define the necessary actions to build a critical European mass in the field of "Investigating Life in Extreme Environments"
* Improve the information exchange, coordination and networking of the European community involved in scientific activities in extreme environments.
The report also include recommendations specific to i) Microbial life, ii) Life Strategy of plants, iii) Life Strategy of animals and iv) Human adaptation.
Thomas Lau | alfa
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine