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What is the origin of life? We've all asked ourselves this question at one point, and tonight we'll find out. Please note that this event takes place on the ground floor and is accessible for those with impaired mobility.
How do humans communicate with their microbiome, and what are we saying to each other? The trillions of microbial cells that live in our gut, and elsewhere, don't just sit there. They are in constant conversation with the cells of their host - that is, you and me. What channels are used for this chatter? What might they be saying to us, or hearing in return? And what effects does all this microbial talk have?
Chemistry at the Origin of Life
How did inanimate matter first become alive? Present-day biodiversity is the outcome of Darwinian evolution. But in the beginning, molecules capable of replicating and carrying information were fundamental to initiate natural selection at a chemical level. RNA is the favoured molecule thought to have preceded modern life’s genetic machinery. But is it plausible that RNA was the first ‘informational-replicator’ that emerged from the ‘prebiotic soup’? The study of simpler biomolecules capable of replicating and transmitting information could provide an alternative answer to the origin of life.