Skip to main content

RNA and Protein: A Match made in the Hadean [IRB Research Nodes Seminar]

16 Nov 22

Speaker: Prof. Loren Dean Williams

Center for the Origins of Life, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA




Host: Lluís Ribas

Node: Cell Pathophysiology / Chemical & Structural Biology  

Date: Wednesday 16 November 2022, 12.00h

Place: Serratosa


IMPORTANT: For attendees outside the PCB community you must register at least 24h before the seminar.



We are interested in the origins and evolution of the ribosome. The ribosome is an ancient molecular fossil that provides a telescope to the origins of life. Made from RNA and protein, the ribosome translates mRNA to coded protein in all living systems. The significance of translation is engrained in universality, antiquity, centrality, and economy. In analogy with tree growth rings or geological strata, one can use the ribosome to read out history. The ribosome has faithfully recorded biological history for four billion years. We are developing methods that allow us to see ever further look back in time, to understand in increasing detail the story told by the ribosome.
The ribosome recorded the genesis and diversification of RNA folding, protein folding, and RNA-protein mutualism. The ribosome continues to record history, preserving recent information on evolution of the human lineage. In this talk we will explain how we read the ribosome and we will recount highlights of its amazing story.