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First Steps in the Origin of Life in the Universe

The Sixth Trieste Conference on Chemical Evolution for the first time has also been a Euroconference. This year we focused on "First Steps in the Origin of Life in the Universe". (Both this Centre and the ICGEB have been sponsors since we first started planning the series with Professors Abdus Salam and Cyril Ponnamperuma. ) The conference had the following 11 sponsors: The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, The European Commission, The SETI Institute, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome, Italy, The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste, The European Space Agency (ESA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Universite Paris 12, The ICTP Public Information Office, La Fondazione Internazionale Trieste per il Progresso e la Liberta della Scienza, and II Laboratorio dell'Immaginario Scientifico. of our Over 90 participants allowed us to make a truly comprehensive review subject. In 82 presentations we had contributions from experts in questions related to the origin, evolution, distribution and destiny of life in the universe, topics that are known together as the science ofastrobiology. The publication ofthese proceedings was largely due to a generous grant form the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome, Italy. The general topic of the conference concerned the origin, evolution, distribution and destiny of life in the Universe, a subject referred to as astrobiology and also as exobiology. In this report we prefer the synonym Astrobiology.
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Table of Contents

Dedication to Girodano Bruno. Preface. Group Photograph. Special Evening Lecture. Peptide Nucleic Acids as a Possible Primordial Genetic Polymer; S.L. Miller. The Abdus Salam Lecture. Physics and Life; P. Davies. The Cyril Ponnamperuma Lecture. Solution to Darwin's Dilemma: Discovery of the Missing Precambrian Record of Life; J.W. Schopf. Opening Lecture. Europa: Prospects for an Ocean and Life; C.B. Phillips, C.F. Chyba. Section 1: Historical Aspects. Sidney Walter Fox; The Father of Thermal Proteins and Protocells Therefrom; A. Pappelis, et al. Theories on Origins of Life Between 1860 and 1900 The Spontaneous Generation Controversy Years Post Darwin and Pasteur's Works; F. Raulin-Cerceau. Reminiscentes-Point-A-Mousson-1970 to Trieste-2000; M.S. Chadha. Section 2: The Origin of Life in the Universe. Materials for `First Steps' in Evolution; A.G. Cairns-Smith. Contributions. Section 3: Possible Sources of Life's Origins. Cometary Molecules and Life's Origin; J. Oro. When and How Quickly did Life Emerge on Earth? J.M. Greenberg. Contributions. Section 4: Life Without Starlight. Tetra- and Nonapeptidyl Motifs in the Origin and Evolution of Photosynthetic Bioenergy Conversion; H. Baltscheffsky, et al. Geochemical Habitats in Hydrothermal Systems; E. Shock. Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents: An Example of Extreme Environment on Earth; D.M. Prieur. Contributions. Section 5: Evolution on Life in the Universe. Geological and Geochronological Constraints for the Age of the Oldest Putative Biomarkers in the Early Archaean Rocks of West Greenland; S. Moorbath. The Cenancestorand its Contemporary Biological Relics: The Case of Nucleic Acid Polymerases; L. Delaye, et al. Likelihood of Transport of Life Between the Planets of our Solar System; G. Horneck. Contributions. Section 6: Is There Indigenous Organic Material on Mars? The Search for a Second Genesis of Life in our Solar System; C.P. McKay. Ancient Life on Mars and Earth; J.W. Schopf. Search for Life on Mars: The Mars Express Beagle-2 Lander; A. Brack. Contributions. Section 7: The search for Prebiotic and Biological Indicators in the Satellites of the Outer Solar System. The Satellites of Saturn; T. Owen. Titan: Exobiology and the Cassini-Huygens Mission; F. Raulin, et al. Contributions. Section 8: New Approaches to the Detection of Extraterrestrial Life and Intelligent Radio Signals. Ways to Detect Life on New Planets; M. Ollivier. Searching for Water in Exoplanets; C.B. Cosmovici. The Saha Crater Radioastronomic and Seti Observatory Set-Up of the Data Link; G. Genta. Contributions. Section 9: Deeper Implications of the Detection of Extraterrestrial Life. Origins and Creation; G.V. Coyne, S.J. Life in the Universe: Philosophical and Theological Issues; R.J. Russell. Implications of Possible Biological Evolution Outside Habitable Zones in Solar Systems; J. Chela-Flores. Section 10: Recent Improvements in the Infrastructure for the Study of the First Steps in the Origin of Life in the Universe. Cosmopark - A Natural Astronomical Observatory; J. Oro, X. Palau. Spanish Photographic Meteor Network: An Interdisciplinary Crosslink; J.M. Trigo-Rodriguez, et al. Pre-dinner Speaker. New Paradigms f

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