Alessia Cassaro

Alessia Cassaro
Tuscia University | Tuscia · Department of Biological and Ecological Sciences DEB

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14
Publications
3,186
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94
Citations
Citations since 2017
14 Research Items
94 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023010203040
2017201820192020202120222023010203040
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Publications

Publications (14)
Article
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Evidence from recent Mars landers identified the presence of perchlorates salts at 1 wt % in regolith and their widespread distribution on the Martian surface that has been hypothesized as a critical chemical hazard for putative life forms. However, the hypersaline environment may also potentially preserve life and its biomolecules over geological...
Article
Two rover missions to Mars aim to detect biomolecules as a sign of extinct or extant life with, among other instruments , Raman spectrometers. However, there are many unknowns about the stability of Raman-detectable bio-molecules in the martian environment, clouding the interpretation of the results. To quantify Raman-detectable biomolecule stabili...
Article
Full-text available
The question about the stability of certain biomolecules is directly connected to the life-detection missions aiming to search for past or present life beyond Earth. The extreme conditions experienced on extraterrestrial planet surface ( e.g. Mars), characterized by ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, CO 2 -atmosphere and reactive species, may des...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of traces of life beyond Earth (e.g., Mars, icy moons) is a challenging task because terrestrial chemical-based molecules may be destroyed by the harsh conditions experienced on extraterrestrial planetary surfaces. For this reason, studying the effects on biomolecules of extremophilic microorganisms through astrobiological ground...
Article
Full-text available
The Moon is characterised by extremely harsh conditions due to ultraviolet irradiation, wide temperature extremes, vacuum resulting from the absence of an atmosphere, and high ionising radiation. Therefore, its surface may provide a unique platform to investigate the effects of such conditions. For lunar exploration with the Lunar Gateway platform,...
Article
Full-text available
The success of an astrobiological search for life campaign on Mars, or other planetary bodies in the Solar System, relies on the detectability of past or present microbial life traces, namely, biosignatures. Spectroscopic methods require little or no sample preparation, can be repeated almost endlessly, and can be performed in contact or even remot...
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One of the main objectives of astrobiological research is the investigation of the habitability of other planetary bodies. Since space exploration missions are expensive and require long-term organization, the preliminary study of terrestrial environments is an essential step to prepare and support exploration missions. The Earth hosts a multitude...
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Mars is a primary target of astrobiological interest: its past environmental conditions may have been favourable to the emergence of a prebiotic chemistry and, potentially, biological activity. In situ exploration is currently underway at the Mars surface, and the subsurface (2 m depth) will be explored in the future ESA ExoMars mission. In this co...
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The discovery of life on other planets and moons in our solar system is one of the most important challenges of this era. The second ExoMars mission will look for traces of extant or extinct life on Mars. The instruments on board the rover will be able to reach samples with eventual biomarkers until 2 m of depth under the planet’s surface. This exp...
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The modern concept of the evolution of Mars assumes that life could potentially have originated on the planet Mars, possibly during the end of the late heavy bombardment, and could then be transferred to other planets. Since then, physical and chemical conditions on Mars changed and now strongly limit the presence of terrestrial-like life forms. Th...
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Among the celestial bodies in the Solar System, Mars currently represents the main target for the search for life beyond Earth. However, its surface is constantly exposed to high doses of cosmic rays (CRs) that may pose a threat to any biological system. For this reason, investigations into the limits of resistance of life to space relevant radiati...
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Full-text available
One of the primary current astrobiological goals is to understand the limits of microbial resistance to extraterrestrial conditions. Much attention is paid to ionizing radiation, since it can prevent the preservation and spread of life outside the Earth. The aim of this research was to study the impact of accelerated He ions (150 MeV/n, up to 1 kGy...
Article
Full-text available
Melanin is a natural pigment present in almost all biological groups, and is composed of indolic polymers and characterized by black-brown colorization. Furthermore, it is one of the pigments produced by extremophiles including those living in the Antarctic desert, and is mainly involved in their protection from high UV radiation, desiccation, sali...

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