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Photo courtesy of Vaughn Cooper: Study organisms growing in a biofilm community in Vaughn Cooper's lab, captured in a light that speaks to the idea that bacterial communities can help us think about astrobiology.

Oct 15, 2014 8:19 AM

UNH Researcherspart of $8.9M NASA grant to study evolution of life


DURHAM - Scientists at the University of New Hampshire will delve deeper into the evolution of life as part of a team of researchers who have received a five-year $8.9 million award from NASA to form an Astrobiology Institute.

The UNH team is led by Vaughn Cooper, associate professor of microbiology and genetics. His laboratory joins a team led by evolutionary geneticist Frank Rosenzweig of the University of Montana at Missoula and researchers from Stanford University, Penn State, and the University of Colorado Boulder. Cooper's lab will receive $1 million of the award.

Cooper's project is titled "Reliving the Past: Experimental Evolution of Major Transitions in the History of Life."

The $8.9 million grant is one of five 5-year grants totaling $50 million awarded to seven research teams nationwide to study the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.


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