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A Self-Assembly Approach to the Origin of RNA: Nano Seminar Series

Seminar: Seminars of interest | September 15 | 2-3 p.m. | 180 Tan Hall | Note change in location

Prof. Nicholas V. Hud, Georgia Institute of Technology, Chem & Biochem

Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute

The prebiotic synthesis of RNA remains a critical and unsolved problem for origins of life research.

We are investigating the hypothesis that RNA evolved from an ancestral polymer (or proto-RNA) with molecular building blocks that had a strong propensity for self-assembly.

We are also exploring the hypothesis that oscillating environments facilitated RNA replication, before the emergence of polymerase enzymes.

Experimental results are providing support for these hypotheses – as well as new insights into what is required for efficient self-assembly in water and how non-aqueous solvents can be used to facilitate DNA nanotechnology.