The NAI Director's Seminar Series Presents: Bowling with Astrobiologists: A Twisted Path Toward the Origin of DNASeptember 29, 2016 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
On October 3, 2016, the NAI Director’s Seminar Series presented Bowling with Astrobiologists: A Twisted Path Toward the Origin of DNA.
Presenter: Nathaniel Comfort (NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology)
At the beginning, so runs the Zen saying, one sees mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. In 2015, it seemed a straightforward task to document the impact of recent developments such as genomics on origin-of-life research. It was to be—and will be—the first part of a book project on the biological, scientific, and cultural history of DNA. But then, a local conference attended by many luminaries in disparate fields provided a disconcerting revelation. In three days’ time, mountains were no longer mountains, rivers no longer rivers. The origin of life turns out to be vastly complex, contentious, and colorful. There followed ten months of opportunities strange and rare: making chemical gardens and discussing jazz and dissipation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; being intellectually fire-hosed in Düsseldorf; talking bio-philosophy while strolling the melancholy coast of Nova Scotia; bushwhacking to remote pools of boiling acid at Yellowstone; and bowling at the White House. As the year concludes, one sees mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers. There remains much to process, but a few principles—and perhaps a little clarity—have emerged.
To watch the recording of the seminar, go to: https://nai.nasa.gov/seminars/featured-seminar-channels/nai-directors-seminar-series/2016/10/3/bowling-with-astrobiologists-a-twisted-path-toward-the-origin-of-dna/
To view recordings of other past presentations from the NAI Director’s Seminar Series, visit: https://nai.nasa.gov/seminars/featured-seminar-channels/nai-directors-seminar-series/
Source: [NAI Seminars and Workshops]
- Watch the Landing of NASA's Mars InSight
- Updates from the SETI Institute NAI Team 2018 Expedition to the Andes
- NASA’s Astrobiology Program Evolving to Meet the Future
- Combined IAN / NAI Newsletter
- A New Initiative: The European Astrobiology Institute
- Was Life on the Early Earth Purple?
- NASA Astrobiology Program Student Early Career Collaboration Award
- Geoelectrodes and Fuel Cells for Simulating Hydrothermal Vent Environments
- AbSciCon 2019 Call for Proposals
- Astrobiology Science Strategy: Public Briefing Webcast