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17:00 25 January 2012

UCL- French Embassy Lectures 2011-12 Series Two: Research Frontiers - Origins of Life


Ambrose Fleming (G06) Lecture Theatre | UCL (link Map)
Torrington Place | WC1E 7JE |

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Patrick Forterre, University of Paris XI-Orsay & Institut Pasteur, Patrick Forterre is a graduate of the University Paris 7. He received his PhD and habilitation in 1985. From 1972 until 1988 he was a lecturer in Molecular Biology at the University of Paris 7. From 1989 until the present he has held the professorial chair of Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Molecular evolution at the University of Paris XI (Orsay).
Dr Nick Lane, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, UCL, Nick Lane is the first recipient of the Provost’s Venture Research Fellowship, was a founding member of the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research, and is leading the UCL Origins of Life Initiative. He studied biochemistry at Imperial College London, and did his PhD under Professor Barry Fuller at the Royal Free Hospital, on oxygen free radicals and mitochondrial function in transplanted organs.

"Life" exists on Earth; it might once have flourished, albeit primitively, on Mars, and could be ubiquitous in space and time across the Universe. Life on Earth may not be a unique cosmological accident; its emergence as autonomous chemical systems capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution may have happened, and be happening on any wet, rocky planet. The two speakers at the lecture will provide different perspectives on the Origins of Life. Patrick Forterre, Paris-Orsay University, works on the novel hypothesis that viruses were instrumental in the transition from RNA to DNA and the evolution of single cell, and more complex organisms. Nick Lane, UCL’s first Provost Venture Research Fellow, leads a UCL Research Frontiers ‘Origins of Life’ project, addressing the hypothesis that alkaline hydrothermal vents in the primordial deep ocean of prebiotic Earth provided conditions central to the origin of life.


Nicola Gilbert
+44 (0)20 7679 8585 | Nicola.gilbert@ucl.ac.uk


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Is the earth rare