(TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action investigating the origins and evolution of life.

News and Views

23 Feb
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    News & Views

PhDs and Postdoc jobs: Evolution and Tracers of the Habitability of Mars and the Earth

In the frame of the Excellence of Science –EoS– program, the ET-HoME project aims at investigating the Evolution and Tracers of the Habitability of Mars and Earth. We will (i) explore the role of planetary differentiation, impacts and plate tectonics on the habitable fate of Mars and Earth, (ii) seek for early life by a geochemical approach and the search for microfossils, and (iii) use remote-sensing data to model the martian atmosphere and surface. 

We are looking for 5 PhD and 3 postdoc researchers with interest and experience in:

  • - Analytical experience and use of non-traditional stable isotopes
  • - Analytical experience and use of trace elements and metal geochemistry
  • - Use of light microscopy, TEM, Raman, FTIR micro-spectroscopy, SR-XRF (synchrotron)
  • - Atmospheric modeling (General Circulation Model)
  • - Experience in geobiology (microfossils, microbial mats)
  • - Numerical modeling by using hydrocode
  • - Remote-sensing of planetary surfaces

To apply, send your CV with a motivation letter clearly indicating which of the skills above you have to offer (plus 2 potential referees) in English to the coordinator of the project Vinciane Debaille (vinciane.debaille@ulb.ac.be), before March 1st. A first round of selection will occur in March, but positions will remain opened until being filled.

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26 Nov
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    News & Views

Online Courses in Astrobiology

We are pleased to announce the launch of the first platform of online courses in astrobiologyhttp://astrobiovideo.com/en/

Astrobiology is a field in full expansion and in constant renewal. It stimulates great public and media interest, and generates many vocations among students. It is therefore essential that everyone has access to the latest advances in the field and it is in this spirit that we launch today this free online platform.

Contact: Muriel Gargaud (muriel.gargaud[at]u-bordeaux.fr) and Hervé Cottin (herve.cottin[at]lisa.u-pec.fr)

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02 Sep
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    News & Views

Six postdoc positions in Origins of Life research , Origins Center, Netherlands

The Origins Center is a recent, multidisciplinary and multi-institute, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO funded initiative of a large number of top tier scientists in the Netherlands.

Over 17 Dutch universities and research institutes participate in the Center that is coordinated by the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

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02 Mar
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    News & Views

The new call for the Europlanet 2020 Infrastructures is out!

The new call for the Europlanet 2020 Infrastructures is out!

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23 Jan
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    News & Views

Scientific positions in ERC PROJECT “ELiTE”

The Palaeobiogeology Group (PPP Lab), at the Department of Geology, UR GEOLOGY, of the University of Liège searches for collaborators (postdocs, spectroscopist) for its activities in the frame of the ERC PROJECT “ELiTE”: Early Life Traces, Evolution, and Implications for Astrobiology, and the IAP “Planet TOPERS”: “Planets: Tracing the Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their reservoirs”.

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Latest Articles

29 Apr
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New Paper: Formation of nucleobases in a Miller–Urey reducing atmosphere

Ferus et al., 2017, PNAS vol. 114, no. 17.

The Miller–Urey experiments pioneered modern research on the molecular origins of life, but their actual relevance in this field was later questioned because the gas mixture used in their research is considered too reducing with respect to the most accepted hypotheses for the conditions on primordial Earth. Here, we report an experimental work, combined with state-of-the-art computational methods, in which both electric discharge and laser-driven plasma impact simulations were carried out in a reducing atmosphere containing NH3 + CO.

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13 Nov
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Emergent Chemical Behavior in Variable-Volume Protocells

Artificial protocellular compartments and lipid vesicles have been used as model systems to understand the origins and requirements for early cells, as well as to design encapsulated reactors for biotechnology. One prominent feature of vesicles is the semi-permeable nature of their membranes, able to support passive diffusion of individual solute species into/out of the compartment, in addition to an osmotic water flow in the opposite direction to the net solute concentration gradient. Crucially, this water flow affects the internal aqueous volume of the vesicle in response to osmotic imbalances, i

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Latest Events

19 Mar
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    International Conferences

ORIGINS 2018 - Bertinoro Conference, Italy

  • Does life exist beyond Earth?
  • And, how could we detect it?
  • Which are the stellar and planetary constraints that affect the emergence and evolution of life?
  • What areas in our Solar System and elsewhere can be habitable environments for life?

These are some of the most important astrobiology issues that ORIGINS COST Action addresses. Answering these questions would imply to completely transform our view about human uniqueness and human position in the Universe influencing the search for signs of life within planetary exploration and on exoplanets.

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CSO Approval date: 14/11/2013
Starting date: 15/05/2014
Ending date: 14/05/2018

Action Chair:
Dr. Muriel GARGAUD (FR)

Vice chair:
Prof. Wolf GEPPERT (SE)

STSM Manager:
Prof. Nigel MASON (UK)

Web Manager:



Grant Holder Financial Representative:

Mrs Annick Caperan

Science Officer:
Dr. Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative Officer:
Ms Aranzazu SANCHEZ



A Trans-Domain Action supported by COST.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020



Involved countries

View the Interactive Map
of Member Countries

Participating Countries
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

COST International Partner Countries
Canada (UQAM), South Africa (Univ. of Johanesburgh), Russian Federation (Institute of Geology, Petrozavodsk), Australia (University of Sydney), United States of America (University of Hawai)

Specific Organisations
European Space Agency (ESA)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Aiming at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques, and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSMs are intended especially for young PhD researchers, but they are open to senior researchers as well. View the documents at this link.

 It should be explicitely noted that Master students are not eligible for STSMs which are for PhD students and more experienced researchers.

The life-Origins COST Project

Life-ORIGINS (TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action dedicated to the scientific investigation of the origins and evolution of life on Earth and habitability of other planets.

The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.

Individuals are not allowed to use the name of the Action, its logo or any corporate identity of COST TD1308 in any communication without prior approval of the Management Committee.

All publications referencing the support of the Action should be sent to the appropriate Working Group chair at the time of submission.