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The NAI Director's Seminar Series presents Bowling with Astrobiologists: A Twisted Path Toward the Origin of DNA

Press Release From: NASA Astrobiology Institute
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016

Presenter: Nathaniel Comfort (NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology)
When: October 3, 2016 1PM PDT

At the beginning, so runs the Zen saying, one sees mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. In 2015, it seemed a straightforward task to document the impact of recent developments such as genomics on origin-of-life research. It was to be—and will be—the first part of a book project on the biological, scientific, and cultural history of DNA. But then, a local conference attended by many luminaries in disparate fields provided a disconcerting revelation. In three days' time, mountains were no longer mountains, rivers no longer rivers. The origin of life turns out to be vastly complex, contentious, and colorful.

There followed ten months of opportunities strange and rare: making chemical gardens and discussing jazz and dissipation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; being intellectually fire-hosed in Düsseldorf; talking bio-philosophy while strolling the melancholy coast of Nova Scotia; bushwhacking to remote pools of boiling acid at Yellowstone; and bowling at the White House. As the year concludes, one sees mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers. There remains much to process, but a few principles—and perhaps a little clarity—have emerged.

To join using a videoconferencing system:

Please RSVP to Sam Doshier (samuel.d.doshier@nasa.gov) if you will be joining by Polycom.

To view the slides, connect to http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nai_directors_seminar/ 

To join using a web browser:

The slides and audio/video for this meeting will be presented using Adobe Connect. To join the meeting, connect to: http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nai_directors_seminar/ 

If you have problems connecting, you can try joining http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nai_directors_seminar/?launcher=false , rebooting your computer, or joining from another network.

To view recordings of past presentations from the NAI Director's Seminar Series, go to https://nai.nasa.gov/seminars/featured-seminar-channels/nai-directors-seminar-series/ 

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