OoL digest — October 19th edition

Again quite a busy week, with fourteen articles in astrobiology, biochemistry and geophysics. The first article in astrobiology, by Brandenburg, investigates the various ways in which chirality enters astrophysics. Chou examines the agnostic life detection possibilities using mass spectrometry. Another article on chirality, by Globus, discusses how muon decay could have induced a biological preference for one type of chirality. Kruijver investigates the habitability of massive Earth-like exoplanets using a thermal evolution model and a model of carbon cycle, while Macdonald examines how planetary surface conditions affect climate and habitability using the ExoPlaSim GCM. Ranjan discusses UV transmission on early Earth, and Ryan applies PCA statistical learning to exoplanet ocean detection. Finally, Shen examines nitrogen cycling and biosignature detection in a Mars analog environment while Turbet questions the presence of oceans on early Venus using GCMs. In biochemistry, the first article by Abbas investigates the role of LLPS, and specifically that of a short peptide synthon, in protocell formation. Guo also examines phase separation, presenting a prebiotically plausible pathway for non-associative phase separation. Jordan discusses FeS cluster formation with cysteine, and Pinna the conservation across life and prebiotic character of ATP. Finally, the last article, in geophysics, Stockey suggests that oxygenation exerts a first-order control on (simulated) extinction vulnerability of marine animals, with implications in extinction control through geologic time. Happy reading !!


Chirality in Astrophysics – Brandenburg – preprint

Planetary Mass Spectrometry for Agnostic Life Detection in the Solar System – Chou et al. – Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences

Polarized muons and the origin of biological homochirality – Globus et al. – preprint

Carbon Cycling and Habitability of Massive Earth-like Exoplanets – Kruijver et al. – The Planetary Science Journal

Climate uncertainties caused by unknown land distribution on habitable M-Earths – Macdonald et al. – preprint

UV Transmission in Natural Waters on Prebiotic Earth – Ranjan et al. – preprint

Detecting Oceans on Exoplanets with Phase-Dependent Spectral Principal Component Analysis – Ryan et al. – preprint

Nitrogen Cycling and Biosignatures in a Hyperarid Mars Analog Environment – Shen et al. – preprint

Day-night cloud asymmetry prevents early oceans on Venus but not on Earth – Turbet et al. – Nature


A short peptide synthon for liquid–liquid phase separation – Abbas et al. – preprint

Non-associative phase separation in an evaporating droplet as a model for prebiotic compartmentalization – Guo et al. – Nature Communications

Spontaneous assembly of redox-active iron-sulfur clusters at low concentrations of cysteine – Jordan et al. – Nature Communications

A prebiotic basis for ATP as the universal energy currency – Pinna et al. – preprint


Decreasing Phanerozoic extinction intensity as a consequence of Earth surface oxygenation and metazoan ecophysiology – Stockey et al. – preprint

Alexandre Champagne‑Ruel
Alexandre Champagne‑Ruel
PhD Candidate - Astrophysics

My research interests include statistical physics, complex systems and major evolutionary transitions.