2004 Annual Science Report

University of Washington Reporting  |  JUL 2003 – JUN 2004

Executive Summary

Our group has had a diverse year, with members participating in NASA missions, geological and oceanographic expeditions, and diverse laboratory and theoretical studies. Through all, our NAI-sponsored research at the University of Washington has concentrated on the following important astrobiological questions:

1. What are the characteristics of planets that can evolve complex organisms?

2. Where might such planets occur?

3. How does biological complexity evolve on a planet, and how might it end?

4. What are the limits and permissible chemistries of life and how might they arise?

We are beginning the fourth year of research into these questions. Below, our results and progress are summarized based on specific research problems defined in our original proposal.

How often, where, and under which conditions do habitable planets form and persist?

The rapid discovery of ever more extra-solar planets has now made clear that the Universe is ...

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