Nick Lane visits D-IAS

Today Nick Lane (UK) paid a visit in D-IAS – and the interest in the british author and professor and his groundbreaking research about life itself was almost overwhelming at todays lecture at SDU in Odense.

By Susanne Siig Petersen

Nick Lane is Professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London.
He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers in top international journals, including Nature, Science and Cell, and many feature articles in magazines like Nature, New Scientist and Scientific American.

The inquisitiveness and engagement among the audience was great – and people were standing in line to talk to the recognized professor – and get his signature in their books after the lecture.

About his lecture: “Energy and matter at the origin of life”

Cells need a continuous flow of energy and matter to grow. All life on Earth uses the unanticipated mechanism of electrochemical charges across membranes to generate ATP and fix CO2. The protein machinery required to generate and harness this charge is extremely sophisticated, raising the question how such a universally conserved process arose in early cells. I will show that equivalent electrochemical gradients are found across inorganic pores in alkaline hydrothermal vents, and that ion flux may have driven the difficult reaction between hydrogen and carbon dioxide to form organic matter and ultimately the first cells.

About Nick Lane

Professor Lane’s research is on the way that energy flow has shaped evolution over 4 billion years, using a mixture of theoretical and experimental work to address the origin of life, the evolution of complex cells and downright peculiar behaviour such as sex. He was a founding member of the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research, and is Co-Director of the UCL Centre for Life’s Origin and Evolution (CLOE). He was awarded the 2009 UCL Provost’s Venture Research Prize, the 2011 BMC Research Award for Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Evolution, the 2015 Biochemical Society Award for his outstanding contribution to molecular life sciences and 2016 Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture, the UK’s premier award for excellence in communicating science.

Nick Lane is also the author of four acclaimed books on evolutionary biochemistry, which have sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide, and been translated into 25 languages.

Read more about Professor Nick Lane: Right here