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  • Educator Louisa Preston
  • Animator Emanuel Friberg

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Louisa Preston is an Astrobiologist and TED Fellow based at The Open University, UK. She works with microbes that live in the most extreme places on Earth as analogues for life we might find on other planets. She studies how life gets trapped inside rocks and minerals, how it can be identified, and therefore how and where we should be looking for life on Mars. She received her PhD in Astrobiology from Imperial College London, UK and spent time at Western University in Canada working on analogue space missions before moving to The Open University. Visit her website or you can follow her on Twitter @LouisaJPreston. The range of extreme forms of life on Earth is astounding! For a more detailed description of the types of extremophiles that exist and the environments on the Earth that we can find them in, see this article by Louisa Preston and Lewis Dartnell on “Extremophiles: How to find life on Mars.” NASA’s Curiosity rover is currently exploring Gale Crater on Mars. Here is the link to its website for all the latest findings, its progress on Mars and hundreds of spectacular images. Out of billions of galaxies and billions of stars, how do we find Earth-like habitable worlds? What is essential to support life as we know it? Ariel Anbar provides a checklist for finding life on other planets. Could there be intelligent life on other planets? This question has piqued imagination and curiosity for decades. Explore the answer with the Drake Equation -- a mathematical formula that calculates the possibility of undiscovered life. Billions of stars. Billions of galaxies. A thousand years just to count all of the stars in our galaxy and then another thousand to count the galaxies in the universe. At TEDYouth 2012, Olivier Guyon examines the possibility of finding other planets within these astronomical numbers, some potentially rife with life. Louisa Preston is a TED Fellow. The TED Fellows program brings young innovators from around the world into the TED community in order to amplify the impact of their projects and activities.
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But why is this so important? Should we be spending less time searching for life when there are so many things we could be doing on Earth?
10/07/2013 • 
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