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The chemical origins of life and its early evolution

Event

Starts:

February
212011

09:00

Ends:

February
222011

17:00

Location

The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Overview

 

Organised by Professor David Lilley FRS and Professor John Sutherland

How did life begin on the planet, and how did metabolic and genetic processes evolve at an early stage? Did this generate an RNA-based form of life, and how did this evolve into the present protein-based life? Researchers from a wide variety of disciplines will discuss possible mechanisms whereby biology emerged from chemistry, and subsequently evolved.

Download the programme with here (PDF)

Biographies and audio recordings are available below.

The proceedings of this meeting are scheduled to be published in a future issue of Philosophical Transactions B.

Schedule of talks

Organisers

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General acid-base catalysis in the nucleolytic ribozymes

Professor David Lilley FRS, University of Dundee, UK

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RNA – prebiotic product, or biotic invention?

Professor John Sutherland, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK

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Session 1

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Introduction by Professor David Lilley FRS, University of Dundee

Professor David Lilley FRS, University of Dundee, UK

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Serpentinite and the dawn of life

Professor Norm Sleep, Stanford University, USA

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Probing the puzzle of ‘Original Syn’

Professor Donna Blackmond, The Scripps Research Institute, USA

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Metabolism and motility in prebiotic structures

Dr Martin Hanczyc, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

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Session 2

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Did life emerge from messy mixtures or purified prebiotic products?

Professor Jack Szostak, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA

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Aminoacylation, transacylation and peptide synthesis facilitated by a pentaribonucleotide, GUGGC

Dr Mike Yarus, University of Colorado, USA

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General acid-base catalysis in the nucleolytic ribozymes

Professor David Lilley FRS, University of Dundee, UK

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Professor Joseph Piccirilli, University of Chicago, USA

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Session 3

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Ribozymes and riboswitches

Professor Scott Strobel, Yale University, USA

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Professor Sidney Altman, Yale University, USA

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Use of a coenzyme by the glmS ribozyme-riboswitch suggests primordial expansion of RNA chemistry by small molecules

Dr Adrian Ferré-D'Amaré, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, USA

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Energy flows, metabolism, and translation

Dr Robert Pascal, University of Montpellier, France

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Session 4

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The RNA origin of transfer RNA aminoacylation and beyond

Professor Hiroaki Suga, The University of Tokyo, Japan

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Mistranslation and its control by tRNA synthetases

Professor Paul Schimmel, The Scripps Research Institute, USA

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The RNA origin of transfer RNA aminoacylation and beyond

Professor Ada Yonath, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

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Evolutionary optimization of speed and accuracy of ribosome decoding

Dr Marina Rodnina, Max Planck Institute, Germany

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The chemical origins of life and its early evolution The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK