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The quest for life in space

Apeejay Stya University conducts a one-of-its-kind workshop on Astrobiology which encouraged students to explore the fascinating possibility of habitation in planets other than Earth

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Individuals often wonder if life exists beyond Mother Earth. Is there an alien like Jaadu coexisting with humans? Is there a possibility of life on Titan?  To address these questions and explore the infinite research and career possibilities in the field of Astrobiology, a virtual workshop was conducted in Apeejay Stya University on November 12 and 13. 

Dr. Krishnendu Ghosh

The two-day workshop was organised by the School of Biosciences in collaboration with Spaceonova, a space education and research-based company. 

Day one of the workshop started by introducing students to Astrobiology and its career prospects. The key speakers, Dr. Krishnendu Ghosh, Research Investigator, Spaceonova and Mr. Anuj Soni, Head at Department of Astrobiology, Spaceonova, also highlighted the vision of Spaceonova to establish an ecosystem where anyone can learn about space as well as create, innovate and make an impact. 

Anuj Soni

Emphasising upon Astrobiology as a growing discipline in space sciences, Dr. Ghosh said, “Science is unstoppable, and the study of space is boundless. Research studies on the existence of biological organisms beyond Earth as well as on space health are already being conducted. India will also see the emergence of space-based labs in the near future. So no doubt, career opportunities in this field are immense.”

Mr. Anuj further added, “Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary subject and so students studying biology, physics, geology, etc., can also explore this field as a career option. Like a biologist can conduct research on tissues and changes that could happen in space health. Similarly, a geologist can study the tectonic conditions and seasonal changes in the space. So, there are several career opportunities one can opt for.”

Yamini Tripathi

Day two of the Astrobiology workshop focused on learning the tricks of writing one’s own research paper by using data analysis. This was a hands-on session with Ms. Yamini Tripathi, Astrobiology Changemaker at Spaceonova, who said, “Astrobiology is a field that offers many career paths and research opportunities to students and professionals.”

The two-day engaging workshop witnessed participation of students from different programs of ASU. 

Simran Kaur, a third-year student pursuing Integrated Biotechnology from the School of Biosciences and also an Astrobiology Ambassador at Spaceonovasaid, “This workshop on Astrobiology along with hands-on training was quite informative. It started with a knowledge-sharing session by informing students about the basics of Astrobiology and giving them a better view of the field. The hands-on session provided insights on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information database as well as how to work on Multiple Sequence Alignment and Phylogenetic Tree Analysis that too from the comfort of the home. Also, as students from different branches joined the session, they got an insight into the career opportunities available since Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary field. They can contribute in this emerging field after completing specialisation in their respective domains.”

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With a Post Graduate Diploma from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, Harshita has experienced both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world. She has worked as a Journalist with Careers360 and India Today and was a PR Professional at Value360 Communications. Learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveler and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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