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LAB’s initial research focuses on four features of life that do not presuppose a specific biochemistry, using these concepts to begin to build a framework for looking for life “as we don’t know it.”


These features include patterns of surface complexity, elemental accumulation, and evidence of energy transfer. These indicators of life were chosen since they can be framed in a way that doesn’t bias observations toward the specific forms of life on Earth and are approaches that could be implemented on flight missions.


Pulling these concepts together, LAB also supports a computational team developing probabilistic and theoretical models to understand the full possibility space for life and a curation group responsible for designing tests and compiling results in a model that can be used to guide sample and instrument selection for future life detection missions.

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