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UCL Symposium on the Origins of Life

The Second UCL Symposium on the Origins of Life | Monday 21 July 2014

   
About the symposium Further information for attendees Feedback
     

 

About the symposium

The origins of life is one of the biggest, most exciting and most elusive questions in science. Getting at an answer requires skills and expertise from across many disciplines, transcending traditional boundaries between subjects. The UCL Origins of Life Programme brings together researchers from diverse backgrounds and seeks to foment a melting pot of cross-disciplinary ideas and expertise.

The Second UCL Symposium on the Origins of Life is a one-day platform bringing together world-class scientists researching disciplines from planetary sciences to the chemistry of nucleic acids, from bioenergetics to phylogenetics. International speakers are presenting their work alongside prominent researchers from UCL, and the organisers hope that this meeting will serve as inspiration for people working on this subject matter and a wider audience interested in the origins of life on earth. The scientific organisers are Professor Finn Werner and Dr Nick Lane.

Registration and attendance is FREE. All are welcome but please register quickly to guarantee a place.

We are grateful to the following groups for supporting this symposium:

 
  Provisional programme
   
  The Second UCL Symposium on the Origins of Life
Monday 21 July 2014
   
09.00
Introduction and Welcome from Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL
   
  Session 1: Cosmological and planetary origins
Session chair: Dr Nick Lane
   
09.10
'Cosmological origins'
Dr Francisco Diego, UCL
   
09.35

'Exogenous delivery of the building blocks of life by comets and asteroids'
Dr Zita Martins, Imperial College
   
10.00

'Eo- and Paleoarchean graphitic carbon as biosignature'
Dr Dominic Papineau, UCL
   
10.25
Tea and Coffee Break
   
  Session 2: Chemical origins of life
Session chair: Professor Finn Werner
   
11.00
'Prebiotic amphiphiles, early membranes and protocell functions'
Dr Pierre-Alain Monnard, University of Southern Denmark
   
11.25
'On the chemical origins of RNA'
Dr Matt Powner, UCL
   
11.50
'Towards RNA self-replication'
Dr Philipp Holliger, MRC LMB
   
12.15
'The engines of gene expression – RNA polymerase'
Dr Fabian Blombach, UCL
   
12.40
Lunch Break
   
  Session 3: Origins of biochemistry
Session chair: Professor John Ward
   
14.30

'Proto-Bioenergetics. Energy Currencies and Coupled Chemical Reactions'
Dr Terry Kee, University of Leeds
   
14.55
'From the origins of glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway to modern cellular metabolism'
Dr Markus Ralser, University of Cambridge
   
15.20
'Terrestrial origin of cells at anoxic geothermal fields'
Professor Armen Mulkidjanian, Universität Osnabrück
   
15.45
Tea and Coffee Break
   
  Session 4: Origins of cells
Session chair: Professor Andrew Pomiankowski
   
16.30

'A bioenergetic basis for the divergence of archaea and bacteria'
Dr Nick Lane, UCL
   
16.55

'The evidence for an archaeal origin of eukaryotes'
Dr Tom Williams, Newcastle University
   
17.20

'Rooting the eukaryotic tree'
Professor Sandra Baldauf, Uppsala University
   
17.45
Closing remarks
Professor Finn Werner, UCL
   
18.00

Drinks Reception
   
19.30

Special Guest Lecture: Stop arguing, you're all wrong. This is what really happened
Dr Adam Rutherford


 

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