Carl Woese, Dick Young, and the roots of astrobiology

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Date

2014-03

Access

Authors

Rummel, John D

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

The beginning of the space age in the late 1950s gave rise to innovative and interdisciplinary research concepts and perspectives, including the concept of “exobiology” as a way to approach the fundamental aspects of biology through a study of life outside of the Earth, if it existed. This concept was embodied by NASA into its formal Exobiology Program and into the philosophy of the program both before and after the Viking missions that were launched to Mars to search for signs of life in 1975. Due to both management flexibility and an acceptance of the interdisciplinary nature of the problem of “life in the universe,” NASA program managers, and particularly Richard S Young who ran the Exobiology Program beginning 1967, have made some excellent investments in paradigm altering science of great use both on Earth and on future space missions. The work of Carl Woese is one such example, which has revolutionized our understanding of the microbial world and the relationships of all life on Earth.

Description

Citation

RNA Biology; 11:3 p. 207-209

DOI

10.4161/rna.27702

Collections