RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Wednesday, 28 November 2018, 11:20-11:40; CSO Common Room

Nick Green

"Chemistry and the Origins of Life"

Origins of life research is a complex interdisciplinary field informed by many areas, at the centre of which is prebiotic chemistry. A branch of synthetic chemistry, prebiotic chemistry additionally draws heavily on biology, physics and planetary sciences in order to shape plausible scenarios by which building blocks could arise and unite to form the first primitive biological systems. This talk will briefly highlight some key problems and recent advances in prebiotic synthesis with perspective on how they have been informed by geo- and astro- sciences. Such an approach has led to the construction of a chemical network, limited by reasonable geological and extraterrestrial constraints, that provides key ingredients of life such as RNA, sugars, amino acids, lipids, polymers, and, most recently, DNA.