Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Suzan Mazur: Princeton Origins of Life Conference Streamed

Princeton Origins of Life Conf. Streamed -- Pohorille: RNA World Death Exaggerated


By Suzan Mazur

LINKS:
VIEW CONFERENCE LIVE
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

In a couple of emails to me, Andrew Pohorille, the most senior NASA scientist working in the Origin of Life field, objected to my recent interview with Arizona State University's Sara Walker, one of the featured speakers at Princeton's Origins of Life conference opening tomorrow.

Pohorille seemed furious regarding comments about the RNA world, although this was a Q&A and I essentially quoted the experts and linked my interviews with them: Pier Luigi Luisi, who characterized the RNA world to me as a baseless fantasy; Stu Kauffman, who thinks the RNA world hasn't worked; and Sara Walker, Paul Davies' collaborator, who told me "most of the origin of life community don't think that's the definitive answer."

NASA is a co-sponsor of the Princeton Origins of Life conference. Pohorille, who will speak on Wednesday about protein structures and functions, said my characterization of the RNA World's failed experiments is an issue that's "highly debatable and arbitrary." I look forward to the arguments this week.

I was delighted to see the decision to stream the January 21 - 24 event on the Internet, following a flurry of emails with organizers encountering initial resistance.

Aaron Goldman, the point person at Princeton for streaming and archiving the conference, emailed saying ANYONE can now log in as a guest and watch the event live.

"You will also be able to ask questions through the chat function," Goldman said, noting further that NASA Astrobiology Institute has developed the platform over the last few years.

Here's a link to the event: http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/ool2013 and to the conference schedule (Scoop copy here):

I have just run into ISSOL president Dave Deamer here in Princeton, who along with NASA's Wenonah Vercoutere, was awarded $60,000 in research funds last summer by Harry Lonsdale. Deamer says there will be news of developments in his Princeton lecture titled "Hydrothermal polymerization: Nanopore analysis of RNA-like products."

Deamer told me the following in July:

"In the next 10 years of my research I'm hoping to achieve in the laboratory what we would call a self-assembled replicating system. That would be a convincing version of something emerging from [Freeman] Dyson's garbage bag ideas. At the start of the experiment there's nothing there but a mixture of monomers and lipid, but after we put them through the anhydrous cycling process there are polymers present. The next step is to see whether the polymers can function as catalysts, and perhaps replicate in some way."

Meanwhile, John Sutherland, the big winner with Matthew Powner of the Lonsdale Origin of Life Challenge, is presenting on Tuesday.

Sutherland's talk is titled, "Origins of life chemisty -- reconciling the iron-sulfur and the RNA worlds." Stay tuned. . .

********

Suzan Mazur is the author of The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry. Her interest in evolution began with a flight from Nairobi into Olduvai Gorge to interview the late paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey. Because of ideological struggles, the Kenyan-Tanzanian border was closed, and Leakey was the only reason authorities in Dar es Salaam agreed to give landing clearance. The meeting followed discovery by Leakey and her team of the 3.6 million-year-old hominid footprints at Laetoli. Suzan Mazur's reports have since appeared in the Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes, Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, Archaeology, Connoisseur, Omni and others, as well as on PBS, CBC and MBC. She has been a guest on McLaughlin, Charlie Rose and various Fox Television News programs. Email: sznmzr@aol.com


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Texas, Abortion And The US Supreme Court

The subject before the US Supreme Court justices in the case of Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt involved particular Texan regulations that were found to be an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to have an abortion. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Delusions Driving The “Leave” Option

Voting for “Leave” requires (a) a fantastically unbalanced view of the impact of immigration on modern Britain (b) a demonizing of the EU “regulations” that are commonplace within a modern economy and (c) a simple-minded optimism that Britain would not suffer any major damage to its economy, or to the status of the City of London. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The “T” Word, And This Sunday’s Election In Spain

Once again, the RNZ news packages from the US and UK this morning underlined the striking difference in the treatment of the Pulse night club killings in Florida and the murder of the British Labour MP, Jo Cox. More>>

Werewolf: Getting Roasted, Kiwi Style

Roasting coffee beans is an essential step in the process from plant to cup. New Zealand does not grow any coffee, so it therefore imports 100% of its coffee supply from other countries. New Zealand does however roast a lot of coffee beans. More>>

Alastair Thompson: Jo Cox's Killing Looms Large As Brexit Heads Down To Wire

The mourning period for the brutally slain pro-remain Labour MP and mother of two Jo Cox was always going to be brief. Today, Sunday 19th June, with four days to go till polling, the Brexit campaign resumed. More>>

ALSO:

Pledge Me Goal Met!
On Scoop's Current Journalism Project

Gordon Campbell: Before this crowd funding effort wraps up tonight, I thought I should provide an update on the mental health journalism project that Scoop – and its readers – are funding. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news