Evolution of the Translational Apparatus and implications for the origin of the Genetic Code

April 12, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm America/Toronto Timezone
Broad Institute Auditorium
415 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02142

Computer Society and GBC/ACM

Hyman Hartman

The translational apparatus involves:

1) The Ribosome; the Large and Small subunits
2) The 20 Aminoacyl -tRNA synthetases
3) The tRNAs

We shall walk thru the evolution of the translational apparatus starting with the ribosome passing thru the Aminoacyl tRNA synthetases and ending up with the origin and evolution of the tRNA. There are one or two surprises in this leisurely walk and we will end up with the Origin of the Genetic Code and the Demise of the RNA World.

Conclusion: The Origin of the Genetic Code implies the Decline and Fall of the RNA world

“It is almost impossible to discuss the origin of the code without discussing the origin of the actual biochemical mechanisms of protein synthesis. This is very difficult for two reasons: it is complex and many of its details are not yet understood.” – Francis Crick

Hyman Hartman was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He received his B.Sc with honors In Biochemistry from McGill University (1957) and his PhD in Biochemistry from Columbia University (1964). He began his studies on the Origin of Life by publishing two pioneering papers in 1974 on the Evolution of the Genetic Code and the Origin and Evolution of Metabolism. These papers were based on the Clay theory for the Origin of Life. He edited a book with Graham Cairns-Smith entitled Clay Minerals and the Origin of Life.(1987). He was on the Grant Board for NASA Exobiology Division and he was a co-editor with Jim Lawless and Phil Morrison on the book Search for the Universal Ancestors published by NASA. He and Temple Smith (Boston University) have been studying the Bioinformatics of the Ribosomal Proteins and the Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases. These studies have allowed them to reconstruct the Origin and Evolution of the Translational Apparatus and the Origin and Evolution of the Genetic Code. He is also active with a group in the University of Kentucky and McGill University studying the De Novo synthesis of Clay as catalyzed by Amino acids and Dicarboxylic acids.

This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in the Broad Institute Auditorium (MIT building NE-30). The Broad Institute is at 415 Main St between Vassar and Ames streets. You can see it on a map at this location. The auditorium is on the ground floor near the entrance.

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For more information contact Peter Mager (p.mager at computer.org)