Special Seminar: RNA on Steroids 2 pm Friday, 5/25, LS1022.
RNA on Steroids
2 pm Friday, 5/25, LS1022.
Dr Loren Williams, Director, NASA Center for Ribosomal Evolution and Adaptation, GA Tech, Atlanta
Dr Williams works on rewinding the “tape of life”: to shed light on the nature of protein synthesis prior to the last universal common ancestor of life. His center focuses on the characteristics of ancient macromolecules and their assemblies, specifically on aboriginal mechanisms of peptide synthesis by RNA – an attempt to uncover clues about key steps in the transition from the RNA world to the protein. In part, Dr Williams work carries the potential of discovering and characterizing the oldest traceable macromolecules and machines of life, and the earliest discernable connection between RNA and protein. The formation of the Peptidyl Transferase Center marked the beginning of the translation machinery and the beginning of the end of the RNA world. Therefore, working on the resurrection and the structures of ancestral Peptidyl Transferase Centers allows Dr Williams to test ideas about primitive living systems, as well as the origin of protein.