Origin of life: From Geophysics to Biology
March 9, 2015 - 10:00am
One of the deepest and most controversial questions of our time is that of the origin of life. In this lecture a hypothesis is presented, according to which the temperature gradients existing deep in the earth (which leads to plate tectonics and the formation of undersea thermal vents), also led to the origin and evolution of life around those vents. Movies and data will be shown of experiments in which various stages of this scenario are presented: how thermal gradients led to plate tectonics, to DNA possible amplification in the thermal vents, and to huge increase of molecular concentration in the early soup. In this scenario the Carnot cycle, at the origin of the first industrial revolution, might have also be relevant at the origin of life.