Field trip to Aqua de Ney

Field trip to Aqua de Ney

From 8th-14th August we carried out a field trip to Aqua de Ney Spring , an unusual spring in northern California. Aqua de Ney has the highest reported silica concentration (>4000 pm) and pH value (~11.9) in a natural spring. We collected water from these springs, measured in situ the pH and ex-situ silica concentration. Then, we performed experiments with these waters finding that they react with metals to form silica biomorphs and silica gardens (metal…

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Summary of main achievements (August 2014-January 2017)

Summary of main achievements (August 2014-January 2017)

Our project is based on the interaction of two main research lines: 1) The fundamental understanding of the phenomenon of mineral self-assembly and, 2) Its relevance to reveal the transition from non-life to life during the Early Earth. We have made the following progress in both fields: Successful field trips to Aqua de Ney alkaline waters (California), Oman ophiolites and their alkaline springs, Dallol hydrothermal system in Ethiopia, and alkaline lakes in the Southern Rift…

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PROMETHEUS Meeting 2017

PROMETHEUS Meeting 2017

From left to right, upper row: Mark van Zuilen, Juanma García Ruiz, Werner Kunz, Luis Gonzalez Ramirez, Cristobal Verdugo, Manolis Giampouras, Alfonso García Caballero, Jaime Gómez, Fermin Otálora, Joaquin Criado, Julian Opel, Marco Montalti, Isaac Rodríguez and Joti Rouillard. Lower row: Jeannette Manzi, Maritza Iveth, Kevin Hagmann, Electra Kotopoulou, Francisca Espinosa. Not in the picture, but also attended the meeting were Angels Canals, Duane Choquesillo, Yadav Brijbhushan, Angel Orte, Jose Manuel Domínguez and Lionel Cervera….

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New paper on mineral self-organization, life detection and origin of life

New paper on mineral self-organization, life detection and origin of life

Our last paper on mineral self-organization, life detection and origin of life has just been published in Science Advances: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/3/e1602285.full. This work is one of the dreams of my life as a scientist. For at least 20 years, I have identified the rare and remote places on the planet where there are silica-rich alkaline waters with which I could do the experiments to produce biomorphs. Thus far, without the help of Prometheus, I had not…

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Field trip to Oman

Field trip to Oman

This has been the first field study of my Prometheus project. A week-long campaign searching for alkaline water sources in remote parts of the Sultanate of Oman. The trip was organized by my friend and colleague from the University of Bremen, Professor Wolfgang Bach. In this country of the Arabian Peninsula the rocks of the deep mantle of the planet emerge to the surface moved by forces derived from the pushes of the tectonic plates…

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Julian Opel

Julian Opel

University of Konstanz, started in 2015. Julian Opel is a German PhD student at the University of Konstanz (Germany) in the group of Prof. Helmut Cölfen. He got his M. Sc. in chemistry in 2015. In his Master thesis, he investigated new strategies to functionalize silica-biomorphs with various functional groups, organic molecules and inorganic nano particles to lern more about the inner structure of biomorphs and to turn these fascinating structures into a functional material….

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Manolis Giampouras

Manolis Giampouras

University of Granada, started 2015. Manolis Giampouras is a Greek PhD student at the University of Granada (Spain). He got his BSc degree in Geology and Geo-environment at the University of Athens (Greece), where he elaborated on mineral texture analysis of a hydrothermal ore deposit (Rhodope, NE Greece). He holds an MSc degree from the University of Newcastle (UK) focused on applied geology, geochemistry and environmental sciences. For his MSc thesis, he specialized in biogeochemical processes…

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Jeannette Manzi

Jeannette Manzi

We would like to congratulate Jeannette Manzi on the achievement of her PhD thesis entitled “Mapping pH in self-assembled inorganic structures by fluorescence microscopy” (supervised by Prof. Marco Montalti and Prof. Aldo Roda), which has been excellently defended on the 9th of May 2018 at department of Industrial Chemistry “Toso Montanari” of Bologna. Her outstanding work has received the marks of 1) excellent for the originality and the arguments treated; and 2) really good for…

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