16 Oct 2023
17:00  - 18:30

Large Lecture Hall, Organic Chemistry, St. Johanns-Ring 19, 4056 Basel

Department of Chemistry (DG)

Resurrecting our Molecular Past. The Real Jurassic Parc (Camille & Henry Dreyfus Lecture)

Prof. Dr. Steven Benner (Foundation for Applied Molecuar Evolution, Alachua, Florida, USA)

Life and the Earth have co-evolved over the past four billion years to deliver a richly diverse biosphere that has been described by observation of living systems in a planetary context. In a contrasting reductionist research programme, the last half-century of biological chemistry has attached molecular structures to much of that diversity. The grand challenge now seeks to interconnect molecular structures to planetary biology in ways understandable to both natural historians and physical scientists. This talk will have fun exploring how resurrecting molecules from long extinct forms of life, in the laboratory (not in Hollywood), can make those connections, helping us understand where we came from, how we evolved to adapt to our environments past, and how we might explore the cosmos for life like us on other planets.

Camille & Henry Dreyfus Lectureship
In memory of the Dreyfus brothers, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Inc. has established the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Lectureship at the University of Basel. The annual Lectureship brings a leading chemist from the United States to the Basel campus to deliver a series of talks, and to meet with faculty and students in order to enhance the relationship between Swiss and U.S. science.

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