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Whitepaper #210 submitted to the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Topics: exoplanets; laboratory studies; life and prebiotic organics
The suite of life’s essential chemical elements on Earth constitutes only one possible evolutionary outcome. A greater understanding of factors governing the natural selection of elements in Earth’s past will create a predictive capacity for detecting and assessing life’s existence on worlds where alternate evolutionary paths may have been taken.