Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Tech Center for Ribosome Adaptation and Evolution
The NAI GIT Team has constructed a multidisciplinary Center to focus on a single theme: the transition from nucleic acid-based life to protein-based life. This transition is centered on the macromolecular machine responsible for the synthesis of proteins, called the ribosome. The collective scientific goal of the Center is to rewind the “tape of life” to before the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of all living organisms, and attempt to shed light on the nature of protein synthesis by living systems prior to the LUCA.
The Center’s research is organized into four main areas:
- Characterizing macromolecules and assemblies of living systems both in extreme environments and from the distant past.
- Focusing on the machinery of peptide synthesis to determine and recreate key steps in the transition from the RNA world to the protein world.
- Uncovering clues as to the nature of the peptide synthesis machinery that was operational during life’s transition from non-coded to coded peptides.
- Potentially discovering and characterizing the oldest traceable macromolecules and machines of life, and the earliest discernable connection of the RNA world to the RNA-protein world.