Don’t miss this!

Back in November, there was a fascinating workshop on subjects pertaining to he origins of life.  Some of the talks dealt with structural and evolutionary aspects of ribosomes.  Next week, there will be a two-day symposium that follows up, in a sense, on this workshop.  The symposium is entitled “The Ribosome: Structure, Function & Evolution”.  The really great thing is that, like the workshop in November, this symposium can be “attended” over the internet.  So you have no excuses for missing this event.

And it promises to be a good one.  Here is the list of speakers, taken from the program here:


Welcome Address – Bob Guldberg, PhD, Director, Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience
Keynote Speaker: Ada E. Yonath, PhD – Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2009, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel
Loren Williams, Georgia Institute of Technology
Jamie Williamson,The Scripps Research Institute
Jody Puglisi, Stanford University School of Medicine
Ruben Gonzalez, Columbia University
Mike Yarus, University of Colorado at Boulder
Steve Harvey, Georgia Institute of Technology
Roger Wartell, Georgia Institute of Technology
Nicholas Hud, Georgia Institute of Technology
Joachim Frank, Columbia University
Olke Uhlenbeck, Northwestern University
Alexander Mankin, University of Illinois
Christine M. Dunham, Emory University School of Medicine
George Fox , University of Houston
Eric Gaucher, Georgia Institute of Technology
Graeme L. Conn, Emory University
Yomi Oyelere, Georgia Institute of Technology

4 Responses to Don’t miss this!

  1. Clem says:

    So how much did you watch? Any new insights to share?

    I wasn’t able to follow any online but did check out a few of the presenter’s web offerings. In particular find Puglisi’s lab doing some interesting work with FRET technology.

  2. Arthur Hunt says:

    I managed to catch about 2/3 of the talks. I thought the continuing deconstruction of the ribosome is interesting – the fact that the business end of the enzyme can be reduced to a rather small part of the large rRNA (practically protein-free) is fascinating.

    For reasons I hope to discuss here in a few months (I am not sure how much a blog discussion counts to pre-publication disclosure, so I have to temper my enthusiasm and the temptation to discuss experiments still in progress), I also found the various discussions and pictures of the peptide exit tunnel to be captivating.

    Yarus is claiming that fewer than 10 nts can make for functional ribozymes. This pushes the “probabilities” for catalytic function in the pre-RNA World way to the “almost certain” end of the spectrum. Better still, he almost said some things that start to sound vaguely similar to some of my more, um, imaginative speculations about the OOL.

  3. Ediacaran says:

    Arthur, have you had an opportunity to read the recent paper by Hein, Tse and Blackmond? I don’t have access to Nature Chemistry (aside from the abstract), but here’s an article presenting a summary:

  4. Arthur Hunt says:

    I haven’t had a chance to look at Hein et al. in any detail. The linked summary is fascinating, though. I’ve always been a bit partial to the notion that chirality would be an inevitable consequence of the involvement of surface catalysts. Hein et al. will cause me to re-think this, for sure.

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