[en] astrobiology ; early life ; extremophiles ; paleobiology ; biosignatures
[en] Life may have been present on Earth since about 3.8 billion years ago or earlier. Multidisciplinary research, especially on the paleobiology and evolution of early microorganisms on Earth and the microbiology of extremophiles in the Earth's environments and under space conditions, enables the defining of strategies for the detection of potential extraterrestrial life by determining biosignatures and the environmental envelope of life. (C) 2005 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.