NASA’s Virus Focus Group is bringing virology and astrobiology together into the new study of astrovirology. They are looking to study the neighboring planets’ microbes in an attempt to better understand how viruses played a part in the origin and development of life on Earth. Since the majority of microbes on Earth are outnumbered by viruses, understanding of them is limited. This has prevented their extraterrestrial counterparts from being a bigger topic of research. These scientists are looking at viruses in the bigger picture, and not just how they relate to humans.

Key Takeaways:

  • NASA’s Virus Focus Group is providing scientists a forum for astrovirology.
  • Microbes are found in nearly every environment on the planet, so astrobiologists are considering the possibility of their existence in space.
  • Astrobiologists researching conditions similar to early life on Earth can study what may have lead to its development.

“Recent NASA-sponsored astrovirology workshops amass interest from scientists spanning borders and levels of experiences”

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