The molecular origins of life 2019 HD block course

  • Type: Mastervorlesung
  • Semester: SoSe 2019
  • Place:

    Seminarraum 335, 2. OG, OCI, INF 270 (by OC-Verwaltung)

  • Time:

    Fridays: 7th, 14th and 28th of June 2019; 13:00-16:30,

  • Lecturer:

    Dr. Zbigniew Pianowski

  • Exam: 28th June 2019, voluntary exam
  • Information:

    Lecture dates: 7th, 14th and 28th of June, 2019, Block course (3 units, each 2 x 90 min)

    Lecture time: Fridays, 13:00-16:30, Seminarraum 335, 2. OG, OCI, INF 270 (by OC-Verwaltung)

    block lecture: 90 min 13:00-14:30, 15-20-min. break, 90 min c.a. 14:45-16:15

    Following topics will be discussed:

    Definitions of life – e.g. self-replicating chemical systems that use external energy sources to stay out of the equilibrium;

    The origin of atoms and simple molecules - how the Universe, stars, planets, and molecules building them were formed?

    Minimal requirements for a habitable environment – under which conditions the known forms of life can exist? Hypothetical other chemistries that could form living systems elsewhere;

    The primordial soup – what pool of biologically relevant molecules likely existed on the prebiotic Earth: the Miller-Urey experiment, the formose reaction, prebiotic syntheses of aminoacids, sugars, nucleic acids, nucleotides, and lipids, prebiotic polymerization;

    The origin of life – self-replicating systems, metabolism-first vs. gene-first, the “RNA world”, the origins of homochirality;

    Formation of protocells – enhancing RNA with polypeptides, establishment of the genetic code, DNA as the enhanced information storage, metabolic networks, membranes;

    From molecules to cells – LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor), information storage and function – split on different molecules, origins of the genetic code, metabolic networks and lipid membranes;

    The history of life on Earth – timeline for LUCA, beginning of photosynthesis and aerobic metabolism, Eukaryotes, multicellular life, extremophilic organisms, habitable worlds outside Earth – current status of knowledge, space exploration programs;