Our Open Seating Policy will be in effect for this meetup.
Venue capacity = 40 / Estimated day-of RSVP turnout = 50%
Peptides: A New Vocabulary in the Language of Life
Savannah Johnson, Graduate Student
Center for Fundamental and Applied Molecular Evolution
NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution
The central dogma of biology, around now for more than 50 years, states that information in DNA is transcribed into RNA which is, in turn, used in the synthesis of proteins. But might there be other molecular languages that could be used to transfer biological information?
Savannah will introduce us to a different kind of information transfer, one which utilizes peptides and can operate independently of DNA. Examples of it are seen in prion-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as mad cow disease and the related Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Understanding the principles of this epigenetic information transfer allows us to make new hypotheses about the origins and early evolution of our modern day DNA-based system.
Savannah is interested in the language of molecules and their translation into structure. She works as part of the Lynn Group at Emory University where she is using peptides, simple building blocks of prebiotic chemistry, to build and transform macromolecular structures in a dynamic fashion. These structures are capable of acting as scaffolds to organize other molecules from the prebiotic chemical inventory, as well as to template new structures. Her interests include the origins of life, astrobiology and geobiochemistry.
For More Information
Check out Savannah's website Starry-Night.Net where she hangs out with planetary science collaborators or listen to her recent podcast for the Center for Chemical Evolution.
Parking and Such
Java Vino is located diagonally across the street from Manuel's Tavern. There is parking behind the building itself and on Williams Mill Road across the street. Manuel's reserves the use of their lots at all times, but parking there hasn't presented a problem for our guests so far.
Enter the cafe on the street level and let them know that your order will count toward our collective tab. They will give you drinks to take upstairs to the Wine Lounge and your food will follow.