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ABSTRACT: The problem of the origin of metazoa is becoming more urgent in the context of astrobiology. By now it is clear that clues to the understanding of this crucial transition in the evolution of life can arise in a fourth pathway besides the three possibilities in the quest for simplicity outlined by Bonner in his classical book. In other words, solar system exploration seems to be one way in the long-term to elucidate the simplicity of evolutionary development. We place these ideas in the context of different inheritance systems, namely the genotypic and phenotypic replicators with limited or unlimited heredity, and ask which of these can support multicellular development, and to which degree of complexity. However, the quest for evidence on the evolution of biotas from planets around other stars does not seem to be feasible with present technology with direct visualization of living organisms on exoplanets. But this may be attempted on the Galilean moons of Jupiter where there is a possibility of detecting reliable biomarkers in the next decade with the Europa Jupiter System Mission, in view of recent progress by landing micropenetrators on planetary, or satellite surfaces. Mars is a second possibility in the inner Solar System, in spite of the multiple difficulties faced by the fleet of past, present and future missions. We discuss a series of preliminary ideas for elucidating the origin of metazoan analogues with available instrumentation in potential payloads of feasible space missions to the Galilean moons.
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ABSTRACT: This chapter addresses two important questions that intersect the natural sciences and the humanities, specifically philosophy: firstly, what are the implications of a search for a 'second genesis' (defined herein as "the emergence of biological complexity elsewhere in the universe"), and secondly, what are the implications of an eventual discovery of such a phenomenon. Astrobiology is introduced as the transdisciplinary science that is most likely to contribute to not only the discovery of a second genesis elsewhere in the universe, but also the research effort that, due to its multi-faceted composition of scientists and philosophers, will be able to help the world adjust to a potential discovery of such a magnitude. We refer to the English physicist C.P. Snow's concept of the "two cultures" (i.e., the sciences and the humanities) and imply that the transdisciplinary science of Astrobiology is the key to bridging the gap between them, and also an excellent opportunity for promoting interest in science and technology in our society. We then review relevant evidence for why we might expect to find life, for instance on Europa, a typical biofriendly body such as those that could be found in exoplanets. These speculations are made all the more exciting and timely by the new discovery of over 1,200 new planets, some of which are hypothesized to be habitable-zone candidates. We further address the implications of the (possible) discovery of a second genesis which might be possible with the use of landers, rather than manned spacecrafts. We reject "biogeocentrism", namely the notion that life is exclusive to the Earth. We believe that if Darwinian principles hold here on Earth, they can be reasonably expected to hold elsewhere in the universe, and that, at the very least, discovery of eukaryotic life elsewhere in the universe would strengthen the case for the eventual discovery of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe too (since according to Darwinian evolution, simple life must precede more complex life). Discovery of intelligent life would have greater implications in the humanities than would the discovery of very simple microbial life on some distant planet.
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ABSTRACT: In this work, a simple and rapid alternative method for determining atenolol in solid pharmaceutical dosages has been developed. The method is based on the dissolution, or extraction, of the active principle with chloroform and direct analysis of standard and sample solutions by FTIR spectrometry. Quantifica-tion of the analyte was carried out at the 1512 (principal band) and 1300 cm –1 bands, using as analytical signal the absorbance at 1512 and 1300 cm –1 , respectively, corrected by mean appropriate baselines. The main figures of merit at the principal band (working range 0.1-1.0% (w/v), limit of detection (3 s): 0.004% (w/v), limit of quantification (10 s): 0.0125% (w/v), precision: 0.6% and sample throughput of 30 samples h –1) are attractive and really adequate for the proposed analysis. The accuracy of the method was certified by means comparative analysis of real samples using the official method described by the United Stated of America Pharmacopeia (USP). The method was satisfactorily applied to the determination of atenolol in a series of commercially available solid pharmaceutical samples. All the values obtained for the commercial samples were within the limit prescribed by the official pharmacopoeia.
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