"Recipe For Life"

This is not an official ACSJ Activity, this is a member suggested Meetup.

A free talk given at NASA Ames by astrobiologist Lynn Rothschild and chemist Richard Zare regarding the origins of life. Register at http://wonderfest.org/recipe-for-life/

Join or login to comment.

  • Scot

    So, I was a bit underwhelmed by the content. It was interesting but, not being a chemist or biologist, I felt the talks spent too much time in the minutiae of monomers, polymers, and "Fab-5" GADV amino acids, and insufficient time discussing the broader picture. There was a tremendous amount of hand waving about possibilities, but nothing that left me to conclude that we are any closer to understanding the origins of life than were Urey and Miller when they attempted to replicate the process, which I don't think is the reality ... at least I hope not. I didn't stick around for the Q&A, so I don't know if it got any better.

    The hosts (Wonderfest/Commonwealth Club) should have done a better job with the AV. Zare's mic placement caused him to waft in-and-out of audibility. The presentations were difficult to see with the overhead lights illuminating the projection screens.

    Perhaps my expectations were too high but, all-in-all, I give it 2 stars.

    1 · January 15, 2014

    • Werner H.

      I see where you are coming from and I felt a bit underwhelmed too, but I came to realize that the biochemical minutiae is where all the interesting progress is being made. The experiments of Urey & Miller were not attempts to recreate life, but simply one small stepping stone towards making amino acids in one of many imagined possible scenarios. We have a much better understanding of biochemistry and chemical catalysis than we did then, which opens a lot more possibilities to explore (continued).....

      January 15, 2014

    • Werner H.

      .....I thought Zare did a reasonable job of reviewing the possible options: lightning discharge + warm soup catalysis on weathered rocks, extraterrestrial seeding, etc.. but has proposed that deep-sea hydrothermal vents offer a much more promising environment because of the higher concentrations of raw materials, catalysts, and energy. I asked him afterwards if he was doing any such research and he said there is no funding for it because the governments prefers more high-public-profile work looking into space. It's hard to know what the conditions were 4 billion years ago and the answers will be slow in coming, if ever, and certainly not of biblical simplicity.

      January 15, 2014

  • Werner H.

    Interesting talks. Of course no hard answers. There were a lot of extra seats, so next time you could probably show up even if you didn't pre-register and replace a no-show.

    January 15, 2014

  • Kennita

    I've sent some emails asking if someone can drive me to the NASA Ames talk from Sunnyvale (I was going to ride with Susan M., but she had to take her mother to the ER -- hope that turns out OK), but some people may see Facebook before they see their email. If you -- yes, you :-) -- can drop by to get me on your way, *please* text or call me at[masked] . Thanks!

    January 14, 2014

    • Kennita

      It took me 40 minutes to make the 10-minute trip, because I could follow neither the printed instructions nor the GPS instructions and got horribly lost, but I did finally get there. Getting home was somewhat better, but I got lost again (sigh).

      1 · January 14, 2014

    • Kennita

      Sorry about the griping, but MS hasn't done my sense of direction any favors.

      January 14, 2014

  • Allegra

    Sorry! Just too busy :(

    January 14, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry, I caught this too late.

      January 14, 2014

    • Kennita

      C'est la vie.

      January 14, 2014

  • Cynthia S.

    So, I put in a dollar amount to see what would happen and got a ticket....hmmmm

    January 13, 2014

    • Susan M.

      Yup, that's just the way EventBrite works. I agree that they need to adjust their terminology.

      January 13, 2014

  • Heather

    I'll have to jump on the next one sooner, this one sold out. :(

    January 9, 2014

  • Larry G.

    I went to register on the 8th and it was already sold out.

    January 9, 2014

  • Audrey

    I'm gunna be there

    January 8, 2014

  • Constantine L.

    I won't be in the country at that time so I hope the presentation can be recorded for future playback.

    December 15, 2013

    • Susan M.

      They post the videos on the wonderfest.org website.

      January 4, 2014

  • Susan M.

    Be sure to register! They need to know you're coming. http://wonderfest.org/recipe-for-life/

    January 4, 2014

  • Anh T.

    Sounds interesting

    December 22, 2013

  • Susan M.

    Thanks so much for scheduling this, Werner. This is the wow-gee stuff I love!

    December 15, 2013

    • Werner H.

      I found out about this through another Meet-up group called Wonderfest, which is basically about the wonder of science. This will be the first of their events I've gone to. If you are interested in this kind of stuff, you might want to check them out.

      December 16, 2013

19 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more
Katie

I'm surprised by the level of growth I've seen since becoming an organizer, it's given me more confidence in my abilities.

Katie, started NYC ICO

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy