SpeakerBMSE Seminar: Prof. Dieter Braun, LMU Munich, Physics. Host: Irene Chen
Date and LocationFriday April 21, 2017 11:00am to 12:00pm
Abstract: The Origin of Life is a fundamental, unsolved riddle of science. Life as we know it is a stunningly complex non-equilibrium process, keeping its entropy low against the second law of thermodynamics. It is therefore straightforward to argue that first living systems had to start in a natural non-equilibrium setting. We work on a chain of experimental evidence using non-equilibrium microsystems which suggest that geological temperature gradients across porous rock should be able to trigger and drive early molecular evolution. Recently we explored phase transitions and symmetry breaking under replication to locally converge to homogeneous sequence species. We are optimistic to reach the combination of replication and selection of increasingly complex genetic molecules in geologically realistic settings.