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Workshops > Astrobiology at PCMI

The organizing committee decided to resubmit their workshop propositions for the 2022 conference. See you there!

Astrobiology at PCMI

Workshop proposed by Grégoire Danger (, PIIM), Anne Dutrey (, LAB), and Hervé Cottin (, LISA).

Linking ISM to Solar System chemistry is still relying on speculative scenarios because the different steps of chemical evolution from ISM to interplanetary bodies are mostly unknown. However, some of the organic matter present in Solar System objects could originate from ices observed in dense molecular clouds of the interstellar medium. Our ability to question this relation is of high importance in the astrobiology context. Demonstrating that dense molecular cloud chemistry is an important or not source of organic matter for our Solar system and is potentially related to the organic content of comets and meteorites will open the possibility of finding the same sort of organic inheritance in exo-planetary systems. This will need more observations of the different astrophysical objects implied in this evolution as well as new experimental developments simulating the chemistry occurring in such objects.

To go one step further, the emergence of biochemical systems in a peculiar environment can be understood as resulting from the development of even more complex chemistry, in term of organization and not only in term of diversity. Laboratory experiments can question the role of exogenous organic matter as a mineral and organic substrate in the emergence of life on Earth, and give clues on a range of conditions in which this process could occur. Establishing or not a link between dense molecular cloud
chemistry and matter found in interplanetary bodies will considerably constrain the habitability concept, and the search for potential exoplanet environments potentially allowing the development of a prebiotic chemistry.

During this workshop, we will first discuss what astrobiology means, then we will debate about the impact that could have the ISM chemistry in astrobiology, and particularly is relation with a potential prebiotic chemistry after discussing about what could be considered as prebiotic.

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