Date: July 13, 2022
Time: 2:30 pm
Location: ABB 102
Guest: Dr. Paul Higgs
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Title: Is the RNA World Hypothesis for the Origin of Life Correct?
I was recently asked to speak on the above title at a conference in Heidelberg. This was billed as a 'controversial talk'. My own opinion is that the RNA World hypothesis is essentially correct and not very controversial. I will review the evidence that RNA replication is a key step that happened very early in the origin of life. I will discuss the progress in demonstrating experimentally that all the steps required for the RNA World can occur in the laboratory. These results are encouraging but we are still not quite there yet. I will consider alternative arguments that there must have been something else instead of or as well as the RNA World, and explain why these things do not change my view that there must have been an RNA World.