Cientistas ainda não sabem definir o que é a vida

sexta-feira, fevereiro 11, 2011

On Febuary 12, 2011, a panel of distinguished scientists will discuss if and how we can answer one of the most intriguing questions humans ask: What is life? 

Following on the heels of its successful inaugural debate in November 2010, the ASU Origins Project is pleased to present its second Great Debate at 7 pm on Saturday, February 12 at ASU Gammage Auditorium. Tickets are $5 and $10 plus facilities fee and are available at the ASU Gammage Box Office (480.965.3434) and

The debate will gather a remarkable collection of scientists whose particular perspectives range from the cosmic to the microscopic. 

Noted author and accomplished evolutionary biologist [???] Richard Dawkins is the former Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His bestselling book, The Selfish Gene, transformed the way we think about evolutionary and the function of genes. 

NASA planetary scientist Chris McKay studies the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. Actively engaged in planning the next Mars mission, including human the development of human settlements, McKay’s research takes him to Mars-like environments on Earth, including Siberia and the Antartic.

ASU physicist Paul Davies has long pondered the origin of life, and was one of the first to suggest that life on Earth may have come from Mars. His current work posits that Earth may have an alternate, shadow biosphere of “weird” life to which existing scientific inquiry has been blind.

The panel also includes two Nobel prize winners: Lee Hartwell and Sidney Altman.

Hartwell won the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 2001 for discovering the genes that control cell division.  His discovery pointed to the unity of all life and catalyzed new avenues of cancer research.

Altman won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1989 for his discovery of the catalytic properties of RNA, a discovery that upended existing notions of the origin of life.  Altman recently accepted a position as Origins Project Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Biologist and entrepreneur J. Craig Venter rounds out the panel. One of the first individuals to sequence the human genome, Venter established the J. Craig Venter Institute, which not only sequences genomes, but has created synthetic, self-replicating organisms.

The panel will discuss whether we can accurately define life, where and when life originated, how we can search for the origin of life, and whether we can and should produce life in the laboratory.

The discussion will be emceed by ASU Origins Project Director, Lawrence Krauss, and moderated by The Science Network’s Roger Bingham.

For more information, please contact the ASU Origins Project at 480.965.0070 or