As mentioned on the email list, this year we’re attempting to do a little astrobiology public outreach and education. Our first series of efforts are interviews with faculty and researchers here at Johns Hopkins who are actively involved in astrobiology-related research. These interviews will be featured on the once-a-day podcast site, 365 Days Of Astronomy. We’ve done two interviews so far, and the first one goes live on that site tomorrow. It’s an abridged, 12-minute version of our discussion with Dr. Jocelyne DiRuggiero of the Biology department about her research with halobacterium and hyperthermophiles, extremophiles that live in high salt and high temperature regions, respectively. Below I’m attaching the full, 24-minute interview as well as the transcript.
Let us know, either through the comments section below or on the email list, if you’re interested in helping out by suggesting someone to interview, being interviewed yourself, or anything else you’re interested in trying (it’d be nice if we had a theme song….). Our next interview is with Dr. Naomi Levin of the Earth & Planetary Science department. It should be going up in the next month and will be featured on 365 Days Of Astronomy in April.
Now, on with the podcast!
With the Kepler Mission’s discovery of 4 potential Earth-sized planets orbiting in their host star’s habitability zones, the main question about life is no longer “Is there life out there somewhere?” Instead we must ask, “Exactly what sort of life could exist on these strange planets?” For today’s 365 Days Of Astronomy podcast, the JHU Astrobiology Forum’s Adam Fuller begin answering this question by speaking with Dr. Jocelyne DiRuggiero, an associate research professor in the Biology department at Johns Hopkins University, about her research with microorganisms here on Earth that live in environments so hellacious, they could easily be thought to be from another world.