Peer-reviewed research publications from our affiliates.
Svetlana Shkolyar coauthored the study The power of paired proximity science observations: Co-located data from SHERLOC and PIXL on Mars. In this work, Hollis et al. present some of the first in situ spectral data obtained on paired instruments onboard the Perseverance Rover during its first year of exploration in Jezero Crater, Mars. Those instruments are PIXL (elemental data) and SHERLOC (Raman spectra). This study emphasizes the importance of analyzing co-located data from paired instruments together to obtain a more complete picture of sub-millimeter-scale mineralogy measured in situ in Jezero crater, Mars.
Svetlana Shkolyar coauthored the study In situ Identification of Paleoarchean Biosignatures Using Colocated Perseverance Rover Analyses: Perspectives for in situ Mars Science and Sample Return. This work analyzed ancient microbial mats from the ∼3.42 Ga Buck Reef Chert (South Africa)—considered astrobiological analogues for a putative martian biosphere—following a protocol identical to that on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. Correlating multiple spectral analyses, the authors (including BMSIS Research Investigator S. Shkolyar) show that the Perseverance payload can detect degraded biogenic materials at fine spatial scales. This is encouraging for the prospect of collecting micro-scale biosignature-containing samples for return to and study on Earth through the Mars Sample Return campaign. You can also read more about this study in this Research Highlight from Springer.
Tony Jia led the study AbGradCon 2021: lessons in digital meetings, international collaboration, and interdisciplinarity in astrobiology, about the organizational efforts of AbGradCon 2021, of which BMSIS was a close partner of, and includes statistics and discussion on the internationality and interdisciplinarity of the meeting, as well as suggestions for future virtual meetings.
Tony Jia also published a short “Division Topics” overview about primitive life polyester microdroplets in the Chemical Society of Japan Magazine “Chemistry and Chemical Industry”.
Fathi Karouia co-authored the study Microbial Tracking-2, a metagenomics analysis of bacteria and fungi onboard the International Space Station.
Zach Adam, Eddie Schwieterman, and Betül Kaçar co-authored the paper Earliest Photic Zone Niches Probed by Ancestral Microbial Rhodopsins, which was led by previous BMSIS YSP Cathryn Sephus!
Jacob Haqq-Misra led the study from the TechnoClimes 2020 meeting that includes BMSIS scientists Eddie Schwieterman and Daniel Angerhausen and others. The paper is entitled Searching for technosignatures in exoplanetary systems with current and future missions.
Crapitto AJ, Campbell A, Harris A-J, Goldman AD (2022) A Consensus View of the Proteome of the Last Universal Common Ancestor. Ecology and Evolution, 12:e8930.
Sukrit Ranjan has led the study Photochemical Runaway in Exoplanet Atmospheres: Implications for Biosignatures, published in ApJ.
Tony Jia co-authored Tractable molecular adaptation patterns in a designed complex peptide system.
Jacob Haqq-Misra has a new first-authored paper that suggests ammonia and nitrous oxide would be compelling evidence for extraterrestrial agriculture, or an “ExoFarm.” The article is entitled Disruption of a Planetary Nitrogen Cycle as Evidence of Extraterrestrial Agriculture.
Svet Shkolyar is the lead author on Estimating peak shock pressures on Mars using spectroscopic techniques: Implications for geochronology studies on returned samples. This review paper, just published in Earth, Moon, and Planets Journal, discusses how identifying shocked feldspar rock samples using Perseverance Rover’s spectroscopy instruments may affect geochronology and astrobiology studies on samples returned to Earth from Mars. Recommendations are also provided for measurements performed with SuperCam and SHERLOC payload instruments and for supporting lab studies to enhance the success of geochronology and astrobiology analyses after return to Earth.
Fathi Karouia co-authored Low-Temperature O3 Decomposition over Pd-TiO2 Hybrid Catalysts, published in Catalysts. Here’s an impact statement for the paper: Ozone decomposition was studied at 25 °C on Pd catalysts with various textural properties, as well as supported on citrate-modified TiO2 under dry and humid conditions. The total elimination of 15 ppm of ozone by this catalytic system under specific experimental conditions allows to envisage this method for treating indoor and outside air in different settings that could be beneficial to human health and environmental factors.
Jacob Haqq-Misra has several papers to share this month:
- Jacob authored a paper about the detectability of CFCs as a technosignature entitled
“Detectability of chlorofluorocarbons in the atmospheres of habitable M-dwarf planets“
- This co-authored paper makes the case that technosignatures could be long-lived, abundant, and detectable, using the Drake equation framework: “The case for technosignatures: Why they may be abundant, long-lived, highly detectable, and unambiguous“
- This paper is about possible habitable zones for massive stars, where gravitational effects from the star can cause unique seasons on the planet: “The habitable zones of rapidly rotating main sequence A/F stars“
- And this paper was led by BMSIS Visiting Scholar Ayşe Meriç Yazıcı, which gives an overview of many of the human factors involved in Mars settlement: “Predictions and possible solutions for the sustainability of Mars settlement“
Josh Goldford led the study “Protein cost minimization promotes the emergence of coenzyme redundancy“. Were cells always dependent on NAD(H) and NADP(H), or could early metabolism have relied on just a single coenzyme? In this paper, Josh and colleagues use a combination of modeling, structural, and sequence analysis to show that multiple coenzyme systems may have been an evolved strategy to increase metabolic efficiency.
Tony Jia published a mini-review in BBA Advances about sequencing techniques and how they can contribute to origins of life research, entitled “Sequencing the origins of life“
Tomasz Zajkowski co-authored “Synthetic cells in biomedical applications“, published in WIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology.
Priscila Lange co-authored “A conceptual approach to partitioning a vertical profile of phytoplankton biomass into contributions from two communities“, published in JGR Oceans.
Graham Lau was the lead author on the recently published study, “Sulfur- and Iron-Rich Mineralogical Features Preserved in Permafrost in the Canadian High Arctic: Analogs for the Astrobiological Exploration of Mars“, published in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences.
Tony Jia co-authored the paper A material-based panspermia hypothesis: The potential of polymer gels and membraneless droplets, published in Biopolymers.
Sagorika Nag has co-authored the book chapter Big Data in Drug Discovery in the book “Machine Learning and Systems Biology in Genomics and Health”. The chapter describes the importance as well as application of big data in various stages of drug discovery.
Jacob Haqq-Misra co-authored the study “ExoCAM: A 3D Climate Model for Exoplanet Atmospheres“. This is an open access paper describing a general circulation climate model for exoplanets that was featured in the TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI).
Jacob is also the first author of An Energy Balance Model for Rapidly and Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets. This study offers a description of an energy balance climate model, which was featured in the TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI).
Svetlana Shkolyar co-authored the paper Raman Characterization of the CanMars Rover Field Campaign Samples Using the Raman Laser Spectrometer ExoMars Simulator: Implications for Mars and Planetary Exploration. This work provides a useful Mars analog study for guiding in situ analysis and sample triage for biosignature studies performed with European Space Agency’s Rosalind Franklin mission, to launch next year.
Gagler DC, Karas B, Kempes C, Goldman AD, Kim H, Walker SI (2022) Scaling laws in enzyme function reveal a new kind of biochemical universality. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 119(9):e2106655119.
Sidd Pandey led a study that included as co-authors several of our YSP alumni and Visiting Scholars. The article is entitled Astrobiology as a Driver to Connect India’s Public, Scientists, and Space Missions, and is published in New Space.
Weber JM , Henderson BL, LaRowe DE, Goldman AD, Perl SM, Billings K, Barge LM (2022) Testing abiotic reduction of NAD+ directly mediated by iron-sulfur minerals. Astrobiology, 22:25-34.
Gina Misra co-authored Persistence and Transfer of Foodborne Pathogens to Sunflower and Pea Shoot Microgreens during Production in Soil-Free Cultivation Matrix, recently published in Horticulturae.
Tony Jia published a paper as part of a symposium at the Biophysical Society of Japan Meeting. The paper citation is: Increasing complexity of primitive compartments. Biophysics and Physicobiology, 18, 10.2142/biophysico.bppb-v18.032, 2021 [Advanced Online Publication].
Roberto Parisi was co-author on two manuscripts: “Ionizing radiation and human body in future Mars space missions: challenges and opportunities” from the Proceedings of SEE Universe Space Conference 2020, as well as “Properties and biomedical applications of graphene-based nanotechnologies”, published in Nanotherapeutic Strategies and New Pharmaceuticals (Part 1).
Tomasz Zajkowski co-authored Synthetic cells in biomedical applications, recently published in WIREs.
Scott Perl is the lead author on a new paper regarding a nomenclature for identification of biological processes and features in brine and salt minerals. The paper, A Proposed Geobiology-Driven Nomenclature for Astrobiological In Situ Observations and Samples Analyses, was published in Astrobiology.
Siddhant Sharma led a paper co-authored Aayush Arya, Romulo Crux, and Jim Cleaves. The paper, titled Automated Exploration of Prebiotic Chemical Reaction Space: Progress and Perspectives was published in Life and came from work that was started in 2020 BMSIS YSP!
Jim Cleaves co-authored the paper The Post-COVID-19 Era: Interdisciplinary Demands of Contagion Surveillance Mass Spectrometry for Future Pandemics, which was led by 2021 YSP mentor Chaitanya Giri.
Gina Misra, Rafael Loureiro, and previous YSP RA, Madeline Garner, recently published Potential Biological Remediation Strategies for Removing Perchlorate from Martian Regolith, in New Space.
Eddie Schietermann co-authored a paper led by his student, Daria Pidhorodetska, entitled L 98-59: A Benchmark System of Small Planets for Future Atmospheric Characterization, where they report simulating various potential atmospheric states for the transiting planets in the L98-59 system. The L98-59 system will be one of the first targets for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and this study provides the constraints on the detectability of molecular features for a variety of atmospheric compositions. Read more about the study in this press release from UCR News.
We’re very excited to announce the publication, Cdkn1a deletion or suppression by cyclic stretch enhance the osteogenic potential of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell-derived cultures, published in Stem Cell Research. 4 of the 5 authors are connected to BMSIS, including Cassandra Juran, Justina Zvirblyte, Meg Cheng-Campbell, and Elizabeth Blaber!
Shiladitya DasSarma co-authored Complete Genome and Methylome Analysis of the Box-Shaped Halophilic Archaeon Haloarcula sinaiiensis ATCC 33800, published in Microbial Resource Announcements
Ayşe Meriç Yazici co-authored Redefining The Business Life And Technostress During COVID-19, in Studies on Social Science Insights
Shiladitya DasSarma was a co-author on the paper, “Complete Genome Sequence of an Extremely Halophilic Archaeon from Great Salt Lake, Halobacterium sp. GSL-19“, published in Microbiology Resource Announcements.
Jeff Marlow is the lead author for Carbonate-hosted microbial communities are prolific and pervasive methane oxidizers at geologically diverse marine methane seep sites, recently published in PNAS.
Ayşe Meriç Yazici and Satyam Tiwari co-authored the article Space Tourism: An Initiative Pushing Limits.
Jim Cleaves was a co-author on several articles:
- Size-Dependent Affinity of Glycine and Its Short Oligomers to Pyrite Surface: A Model for Prebiotic Accumulation of Amino Acid Oligomers on a Mineral Surface
- Automated classification of the biogenicity of mass spectra of organic mixtures
- Primitive cationic polyester microdroplets for RNA segregation
Natalie Grefenstette was a co-author on a perspective piece published in Life that discusses ambiguity at the origin of life. The paper is titled The Grayness of the Origin of Life.
Fathi Karouia co-authored Investigation of Spaceflight Induced Changes to Astronaut Microbiomes.
Sukrit Ranjan co-authored the article The role of the three body photodissociation channel of water in the evolution of dioxygen in astrophysical applications.
Jim Cleaves co-authored the publication Classification of the Biogenicity of Complex Organic Mixtures for the Detection of Extraterrestrial Life.
Shiladitya DasSarma is a co-author of the paper Genome Sequence and Methylation Pattern of Haloterrigena salifodinae BOL5-1, an Extremely Halophilic Archaeon from a Bolivian Salt Mine.
Omer Markotich has several publications to announce:
- Science policy through public engagement
- Chemical Fueling Enables Molecular Complexification of Self-Replicators
- Automated device for continuous stirring while sampling in liquid chromatography systems
- All-photochemical Unidirectional Rotation of Phosphorus-based Molecular Motors
- Caught in the Act: Mechanistic Insight into Supramolecular Polymerization-Driven Self-Replication from Real-Time Visualization
- Competition Dynamics in a Chemical System of Self-replicating Macrocycles
Fathi Karouia co-authored Human Neural Stem Cells in Space Proliferate more than Ground Control Cells: Implications for Long-Term Space Travel. Summary: Human neural stem cells (NSCs) were exposed to the space environment onboard the International Space Station and the proliferation and physiology were measured. The study revealed that NSCs proliferated 7 times faster and were larger in diameter than ground controls. The observed phenomena could contribute to the increased intracranial pressure observed in astronauts.
Tony Jia and Jim Cleaves are authors on Incorporation of Basic α-Hydroxy Acid Residues into Primitive Polyester Microdroplets for RNA Segregation.
Omer Markovitch co-authored Chemical Fueling Enables Molecular Complexification of Self‐Replicators, where the authors have shown how it is actually possible to “defeat” Spiegelman’s monster! The work was featured in an article of EurekAlert!
Rebecca Thombre is co-authoring the soon-to-be-released book Physiology, Genomics, and Biotechnological Applications of Extremophiles.
George Profitiliotis authored Measuring the economic benefits of a national planetary protection policy to regulate future private space activities between Earth and Mars: Results of a contingent valuation survey in Greece in the journal Advances in Space Research.
Tony Jia is the lead author on the recent article Origin of Species before Origin of Life: The Role of Speciation in Chemical Evolution
The first article produced from the BMS-sponsored TechnoClimes meeting has been published! Concepts for future missions to search for technosignatures will be published in Acta Astronautica.
We’re very proud of YSP alumnus Brooke Carruthers for being the lead author on her first published science article, Automated Laboratory Growth Assessment and Maintenance of Azotobacter vinelandii.
Mike Lee has several new publications to share! In Reference-guided metagenomics reveals genome-level evidence of potential microbial transmission from the ISS environment to an astronaut’s microbiome, Dr. Lee and colleagues show potential microbial transmission from the ISS environment to an astronaut’s nasal microbiome while aboard the space station. In The Hunt for Ancient Prions: Archaeal Prion-Like Domains Form Amyloid-Based Epigenetic Elements, several of our BMSIS community explore prion-focused origins of life work. And Dr. Lee was also a co-author on DMSP synthesis genes distinguish two types of DMSP producer phenotypes.
Goldman AD, Fournier G, Gogarten JP, Petrov AS, Rothschild L, Segrè D, Smith E, Williams L (2021) Understanding the Early Major Transitions in Evolutionary History Part 1: Stages in the Emergence of Complex Life. Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 53: 247.
Fournier G, Gogarten JP, Goldman AD, Petrov AS, Rothschild L, Segrè D, Smith E, Williams L (2021) Understanding the Early Major Transitions in Evolutionary History Part 2: Ancient Evolution of Biological Systems and the Biosphere. Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 53: 253.
Harris AJ, Goldman AD (2021) The very early evolution of protein translocation across membranes. PLoS Computational Biology, 17(3): e1008623
Jim Cleaves co-authored Open questions in understanding life’s origins, in Nature Chemical Communications.
Jim Cleaves and Tony Jia co-authored Prebiotic oligomerization and self-assembly of structurally diverse xenobiological monomers, published in Scientific Reports. Read more from physorg.
YSP alumnus Spandan Dash was the lead author on Planet formation and disc mass dependence in a pebble-driven scenario for low-mass stars.
Goldman AD, Liberles DA (2021) The Journal of Molecular Evolution Turns 50. J Mol Evol, 89:119–121
Goldman AD, Kaçar B (2021) Cofactors are remnants of life’s origin and early evolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 89:127–133.
Mike Lee co-authored an update commentary paper on anvi’o (an analysis and visualization platform for microbial omics data) entitled Community-led, integrated, reproducible multi-omics with anvi’o
Milena Popović led the study In vitro selections with RNAs of variable length converge on a robust catalytic core.
Lauren Seyler led the study Time-series transcriptomics from cold, oxic subseafloor crustal fluids reveals a motile, mixotrophic microbial community, published in the ISME journal.
Papers from before January 2021
Harris AJ, Goldman AD (2020) The complex phylogenetic relationships of a 4mC/6mA DNA methyltransferase in prokaryotes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 15:106837.
Takagi YA, Nguyen DH, Wexler TB, Goldman AD (2020) The Coevolution of cellularity and metabolism following the origin of life. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 88:598–617 (a Zuckerkandl Prize winning article!)
Liberles DA, Chang B, Geiler-Samerotte K, Goldman AD, and 6 others (2020) Emerging Frontiers in the Study of Molecular Evolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 88:211-226.