Fakultät für Physik




Seminar: Physics of the Emergence of Life – Übersicht

  • Übersicht

Which biophysical processes could lead to the first living systems? How can Darwinian evolution be triggered by nonequilibrium processes? Can we build the strategies of life bottom up in the lab? The minimal requirements for the emergence of an evolutionary dynamics are three processes: replication, mutation, and selection. To maintain the genetic simulation, also a nonequilibrium system is needed. We will discuss recent progress in understanding this phase transition from nonliving to living matter. Topics will include experimental and theoretical treatments.

Informationen zur Vorlesung

Zeit und Ort

Fr. 8.30-10.00
N110 (Kleiner Physikhörsaal)

The Seminar is geared towards Masterstudents, however talented, late Bachelorstudents willing to digg deep into more special concepts are also welcome. Papers will focus on recent advances on the topic (not older than say 3 years - exceptions for some classic papers)

Prof. Dieter Braun
(email: dieter.braun@lmu.de)

The first 12 Topics + Papers can be downloaded here (pwd see lecture). On 19th Oct, we will discuss the topics and distribute them among the students. They cover the following topics (here are the 2 missing theory topics):

1 RNA more easily can be connected by recombination, i.e. the exchange of strands. Is this a good process to replicate information?

2 Dry polymerization could be an interesting route - one idea is to start from a unusual 3'-5' cyclic from of RNA and low salt conditions where polymerization of RNA sets in. We collect the evidence

3 An activation chemistry which can be also used to ligate RNA can also be used to create a phase transition or induce long filaments under transient conditions. Is there an interesting “nonequilibrium chemistry” out there?

4 Coascervates, the condensation of molecules by their close interaction, has been always discussed as an alternative to the first cells. We review recent results from Dora Tang et.al.

5 Deep sequencing allows to analyze RNA selex experiments as the best molecules are replicated and selected. What can we learn about fitness landscapes with these experiments?

6 The replication of RNA from basic chemistry suffers from hard criteria of the error threshold. In a tour de force with an alternative RNA backbone Clemens Richert tries how far he can get. He also discusses the interesting combination of peptides and RNA.

7 What is the status of the RNA world? In recent far reaching experiments, Phil Holliger showed how triplets of RNA seem to be an ideal feeding molecule for replication.

8 Does the recombination already discussed in (1) be possible not only by complex RNA structures, but is also performed under cold conditions? We review old and new experiments on this interesting reaction which forms already from very simple sequences. Is it possible to use it for replication dynamics?

9 Recent evidence makes it clear that the period right after the moon formation, known as late veneer, played in interesting role. We look into simulations and discussions of early planet formation in our own planetary system and its role in Origins of Life research.

10 More complex peptides can trigger a replication reaction very similar to a ligation chain reaction. What are the limits of this approach?

11 How to the interaction in molecular network influence the first replication reactions? Do they help and are they important?

12 How can non-equilibrium conditions help in creating the first replication cycles? We give some introduction to our own heat-driven microfluidics scenarios in the origins of life.

Times of the Seminar.

19.10. Introduction to the Seminar and distribution of topics

26.10. Topic 1: Pascal Förster

2.11. Topic 12: Zahra Mohaveri + Julian Bauer

9.11. Topic 10: Aaron Döring

16.11. Topic 9: Derya Taray + Peter Kulosik

23.11. Topic 11: Bernat Ferrer + Erik Kubasek

30.11. Topic 8: Kais Sadraoui + Peter Eder

7.12. Topic 4: Antoine Martina

14.12. Topic 6: Felix Brandner + Samuel Stubhan (Talk)

21.12. Topic 3: Johanna Mayer + Philipp Schwintek

11.1. Topic 5: Sebastian Trost
IMPORTANT: seminar will be moved to 25.1. I will not make it due to high snow (life in Lenggries). Sorry.

18.1. Topic 7: Philipp Krüger + Joey Kalis

25.1. Topic 2: Lotta Flaig + Enrico Baù

1.2. Topic 13: Higgs: Coarse grained models on error threshold (theory)

8.2. Topic 14: Maslov: Searching for autocatalytic networks (theory)


Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: Dieter Braun