Montag, 5. Januar 2009

Goldschmidt 2009; Challenges to our volatile planet

Recent Developments in Microbial Techniques and Approaches to Geobiology

Keynote: Volker Thiel (University of Gottingen)

Session description: This session seeks contributions that apply novel
molecular, genetic, microscopic, spectroscopic, and/or chemical approaches
and techniques to explore questions of geobiology. Such approaches could
include - but are not limited to - applications from metagenomics, novel
imaging techniques, high-resolution analyses, spectroscopic methods,
isotopic proxies (natural level and tracer experiments), and new classes of
organic or inorganic biomarkers. Novel approaches to handling microbes and
consortia in-situ and to improving culturing approaches also are welcomed.


Microbial Cycling of Toxic Elements (eg. As, Se, Hg, Te) in Extreme

Keynote: Jon Lloyd (University of Manchester)

Session description: Microbial interaction with toxic elements is a well
developed field of research due to the toxicity of these elements to living
organisms. This topic is of particular interest to microbial ecologists and
geologists as toxic elements impact microbial community structure and
function and microbes affect the redox state and chemical properties of the
elements. While research on microbe-toxic elements interactions have
progressed for decades, the study of these interactions in extreme
environments has only recently begun, even though such environments are
often characterized by elevated concentrations of such elements. Thus,
microbes and communities in environments characterized by high temperature
and salinity and low pH have been exposed to toxic elements throughout the
course of their evolution. This long term relationships imply that (i) novel
modes of microbial interactions with toxic elements may be found in extreme
environments, and (ii) the evolutionary origin for the mechanisms that
govern toxic element transformations might be found in extreme environments.
This session will be comprised of presentations that summarize current
studies that address these issues.
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