Opendata, web and dolomites


Life in Arsenic rich environments: a challenge or an opportunity?

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 AsLife project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the AsLife project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "AsLife" about.

2020    trace    fossil    assessing    science    genomic    despite    loid    light    patterns    earth    explore    essentiality    extreme    arsenic    provides    modified    establishing    scanning    cultures    diagenetically    mission    geochemical    linked    signs    sub    prominent    colleagues    toxicity    performed    tie    proxies    biomass    scales    believe    analyzing    technique    exerted    notorious    ray    laboratory    bio    samples    invasive    cycling    expertise    raquo    usa    jet    first    laquo    levels    destructive    speciation    nanoprobes    micrometer    sampling    synchrotron    environment    selective    propulsion    encapsulated    ecosystems    exploration    discussed    primitive    imaging    evolution    pressure    argentinian    andean    charge    facilities    altitude    life    microbiota    aslife    returning    understand    inference    metal    rover    background    multiple    contact    toxin    hard    unexplored    seek    evolutionary    physiological    lakes    adapt    metabolisms    microbes    microfossil    interplay    mars    microbial    concentrations    power    data    supporting    geological    environments    adaptive    strategy    detoxification    living    mats   

Project "AsLife" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RUE JUSSIEU 1
city: PARIS
postcode: 75238

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 173˙076 €
 EC max contribution 173˙076 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-05-01   to  2018-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Arsenic is a notorious toxin, and as such may have exerted a strong selective pressure on the distribution and evolution of life on Earth. Despite evidence supporting the high levels and prominent role of As on the primitive Earth, the essentiality and toxicity of As, and its impact on evolutionary processes remains unexplored. AsLife aims at taking a novel approach to assessing microbial As cycling by exploiting two linked «environments». The first are the microbial mats from High-Altitude Andean Lakes, where it is known that As concentrations are far above background levels. Specifically, living and diagenetically-modified microbial mats will be investigated using scanning hard X-ray nanoprobes emerging at synchrotron facilities. This non-invasive and non-destructive technique provides data on a sub-micrometer scale by which to tie physiological inference from trace metal(loid)s distribution and speciation patterns directly to the microfossil biomass. Thus, providing a means to understand the interplay between microbial metabolisms and bio-availability of trace metal(loid)s in living and fossil ecosystems. The second environment comprises laboratory cultures, using the sampling power of «adaptive laboratory evolution» to explore how microbes adapt and enhance As detoxification facing the extreme As levels present in Andean Lakes. These results will be discussed in light of genomic studies of As-rich microbiota performed by Argentinian colleagues. During this project I will contact colleagues of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in charge of the 2020 Mars Science Rover Mission and linked objective of returning samples for future analysis on Earth. I believe that my expertise in imaging and analyzing bio-geochemical proxies at multiple scales on a encapsulated geological sample can be relevant for contributing to the «Seek Signs of Life» Exploration Strategy of the 2020 Mission, thus establishing a strong and effective collaboration between EU and USA.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 María Sancho-Tomás, Andréa Somogyi, Kadda Medjoubi, Antoine Bergamaschi, Pieter T. Visscher, Alexander E.S. van Driessche, Emmanuelle Gérard, María E. Farias, Manuel Contreras, Pascal Philippot
Distribution, redox state and (bio)geochemical implications of arsenic in present day microbialites of Laguna Brava, Salar de Atacama
published pages: , ISSN: 0009-2541, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.04.029
Chemical Geology 2019-06-13

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The information about "ASLIFE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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