The Genome Center is pleased to announce that Jack Szostak, Nobel Prize laureate, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, will be the featured lecturer at the 2020 David L. Weaver Endowed Lecture.
The 2020 David L. Weaver Lecture scheduled for Wednesday, April 8th at 3:00 pm in GBSF 1005 Auditorium has been canceled.
Title: The Origin of Cellular Life
Abstract: The complexity of modern biological life has long made it difficult to understand how life could emerge spontaneously from the chemistry of the early earth. The key to resolving this mystery lies in the simplicity of the earliest living cells. Through our efforts to synthesize extremely simple artificial cells, we hope to discover plausible pathways for the transition from chemical evolution to Darwinian evolution. We view the two key components of a primitive cell as a self-replicating nucleic acid genome, and a self-replicating boundary structure. I will describe simple and robust pathways for the coupled growth and division of model primitive cell membranes, along with recent experimental progress towards the synthesis of self-replicating nucleic acids. I will also discuss model systems that may provide a route to artificial life with a biochemistry that is distinct from that of existing biology.