Líneas de investigación

Molecular Evolution and Adaptation

Study of the material and biological information in the environment, preservation and interaction with the physical milieu, molecular biomarker identification and development of methodologies for their detection.

Formation and Evolution of Stars, Brown Dwarfs and Planets.

Activities related to the observation, study, and modeling of the various phases and processes associated with the formation and evolution of stars, brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets. Characterization of these objects physical properties.

Formation and Evolution of Galaxies Group

The group is specialized in the Astrophysics area of "Formation and Evolution of Galaxies". The main focus is the study of different galaxy types observed across the history of the Universe. This research is based on data obtained with ground based and spatial telescopes, optimized in X rays, optical, infrarred and millimetric. The group also have an important implication in technological projects of astronomical instrumentation, both spatial and ground based.

Planetary Geology

Planetary Geology is the study of solid surface planetary objects in the Universe, including Earth. Specifically, this scientific discipline investigates the composition, structure and processes and agents by which planets, satellites, comets, asteroids and meteorites evolve since its formation. These issues are crucial in determining the habitability of planetary environments, and basically outline the main objectives of this research area at CAB: 1) participation in planetary exploration missions, 2) determination of the influence of the geology on extreme paleo-, and current terrestrial environments analogous to those developed on other planets, 3) the characterization of planetary material regarding habitability, and 4) understanding the geological processes that affects the evolution of the planets and natural satellites. The close relationship with other fields of astrobiology, which arises naturally during the approach to these problems, is well reflected in the activities that were carried out during 2012.

Development of Advanced Instrumentation

CAB is by its nature devoted to instrumentation in all relevant fields. Advanced instrumentation provides basic tools for Astrobiology. Space programmes require continuous efforts and ground-based instrumentation is essential to ensure that advanced developments can be proposed for new mission opportunities.

Molecular mechanisms of biological adaptation

Molecular strategies and metabolic functions required for the adaptation of bacteria to extreme conditions, using metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approaches. Special interest in the rizosphere of plants from extreme environments. Multicellularity and social behaviour in Bacillus subtilis. Study of genetic material transfer in bacterial populations by extracellular DNA.

Data Archive Unit. Spanish Virtual Observatory

The Data Archive Unit at CAB (http://sdc.cab.inta-csic.es) has a long experience in the development and operation of astronomical archives. Already in 1998 LAEFF was selected to host INES, the archive and data distribution system of the IUE satellite. The Data Archive Unit is also the core of the Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO, http://svo.cab.inta-csic.es), a project that is part of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA http:/ / www.ivoa.net) since June 2004 and that coordinates the VO initiatives at national level and acts as a contact point for the international VO projects. The basic objective of the Virtual Observatory (VO, according to its acronym in English) is to ensure an easy and efficient access and analysis of the existing information in astronomical data centers.

Prebiotic Chemistry Group

Prebiotic Evolution is the first step in the emergence of life; it encompasses all the natural physico-chemical processes that occur within a given planetary environment starting from its formation, up until the emergence of the first self-replicating systems on which the Darwinian Process can begin to operate. Three main problems are to be solved: (1) The abiotic origin of the important organic compounds (this subject is usually known as Prebiotic Chemistry), (2) the origin of the homoquirality of all the actual bioorganic compounds (its currently accepted that it is impossible to construct any self replicating systems using a mixture of enantiomeric compounds, this necessarily leads to its prebiotic origin) and (3) the supramolecular association of the complex molecules generated and vesicle formation. (4) Molecular self-asembly on surfaces.

Departments and support units

The answer to questions about life and its origin come from the combined efforts of many disciplines

Research areas

The science developed in the CAB is channeled through interdepartmental research lines

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