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8:00AM Registration & Continental Breakfast, - Could RNA have emerged in the prebiotic era?
Keeneland Room, W.T. Young Library The lecture will present our attempts towards an I
8:45AM Welcome - Dr. Eli Capilouto, understanding gained by comparing the properties B I O I o g y
President of the University of Kentucky of RNA to its potentially (generationally simpler)
9:00AM Dr. Robert Hazen, George Mason University natural alternatives, Such an approach not only
Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins discloses unconventional informational systems,
novel chemical reactivity and reaction pathways, but
Is life's origin a cosmic imperative manifest  more importantly  provides an appreciation for the
throughout the cosmos, or is life an improbable uniqueness of the structure and function of RNA in  7 .5333. .
accident, restricted to a few planets (or only one)? the context of chemical evolution. .. I}.
Lacking observations of ecosystems beyond " E ' ' .
our own world, scientists seek experimental and 11:30AM Lunch 3 3 f"
theoretical frameworks to deduce the origin of life. 1:30PM Poster Session ; 351,335.1'33 i- .. I,
In this context the concept of emergent systems Gallery, W.T. Young Library A 3? .1  ,
provides a unifying approach. Natural systems with 2:30PM Dr. Ada Yonath, Weizmann Institute of Science @3733, , M '3
many interacting components, such as molecules, Origins of life: from prebiotic peptide bond was , -
cells or organisms, often display complex behavior formation to the contemporary ribosome 3.3"" " i
not associated with their individual components. ' . f
 The origin of life can be modeled as a sequence of Ribosomes possess spectacular architecture 3,;  uses-i
emergent events  the synthesis of biomolecules, accompanied by inherent mobility, allowing for their . Fm w
_ the selection and organization of those small smooth performance as polymerases of amino acids. :53 . A-
molecules into functional macromolecules, the Peptide bonds are formed and elongated within a M
emergence of selfreplicating molecular systems, universal semi-symmetrical region connecting all of .
and the initiation of molecular natural selection  the remote ribosomal features involved in nascent Established by M Benton Naff
which transformed the lifeless geochemical world of chain creation and elongation. The elaborate in memory of Anna S. Naff
oceans, atmosphere and rocks into a living planet. architecture of this reaction positions ribosomal a
This framework guides origin experiments, which substrates in appropriate stereochemistry for peptide l , V: : ,. . ,. r I
can be designed to focus on each emergent step. bond formation, substratemediated catalysis, Ln 8  *1   "
substrate translocation and nascent chair insertion > LO 3
10:00AM Break (refreshments available) into their exit tunnel, b 8 O
10:30AM Dr. Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, 2 32 | LL] Friday, Aprll 12, 2013
Scripps Research Institute The high conservation of this region implies its E L) KO DC
In Search of Alternatives to Understand the existence irrespective of environmental conditions 2 3 8 Lu
Emergence of RNA implying that it may represent an ancient RNA U C Q Q SPEAKERS
apparatus with bonding capabilities, which turned u (D 1' >
Though the emergence of RNA is viewed as into peptide bond maker, thus capable of creating 0 if >- E Dl. RObert Haze:
a critical step in the origins of life field, our oIigopeptides. Those oIigopeptides that were found E O x W Dr, Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy
understanding of how (and why) RNA emerged useful survived and triggered the formation of the 0.) > C U)
in Nature is equivocal and continues to engage, genetic does, which was optimized simultaneously E '5; 9 V7 Dl. Ada Yonath
intrigue and fascinate the imagination. From a purely with the optimization of the bonding apparatus, 4: a CD E
chemical point of view the questions, in this context, namely the ribosome, as well as the genetic code, its 8 > E Q
are: molecular tools and its products: the mature proteins. (1) E 6 Q Department of Chemistry
- What is speCIal about the components (ribose, Q 3 I <1: University of Kentucky
phosphate and canonical nucleobases)  and the 4:00PM Award Ceremony  Lexington, KY 405060055
emergent properties  of RNA? z
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