Synthetic Cellular Models for Probing the Origin of Life
The onset of Darwinian evolution could have coincided with primitive compartmentalization which would have concentrated reactive molecules capable of genetic propogation or metabolism. However, the precise nature of the molecules which drive self-assembled compartmentalization are unknown. Molecular fingerprints from modern biology give some clues to the types of interactions which might have been important for primitive compartmentalization. To this end Dora Tang uses a multidisciplinary approach for the bottom-up synthesis of dynamic protocellular systems for origin of life studies.
In her talk she will describe the synthesis of artificial cells based on liquid-liquid phase separation (coacervation) and hydrophobic effects such as lipid vesicles and discuss the plausibility of their roles as protocellular models. Specifically, she will describe how these coacervate microdroplets may be used to concentrate and localize molecules and support primitive reactions based on RNA.
Dora Tang ist Research Group Leader am Mac Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden (MPI-CBG) und derzeit Visiting Fellow am CAS.