Summer Seminar Series - UROPS - The origins and search for life on Mars

Speaker: 
Angel Mojarro
Date: 
Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 2:00pm to 2:45pm
Location: 
Virtual via Zoom

https://mit.zoom.us/j/96038080929?pwd=TkU5a1JidWJjQnYrZm9XV0FsYjNZdz09

Meeting ID: 960 3808 0929

email maggie84@mit.edu for password

Abstract:
Advances in origins of life research and prebiotic chemistry suggest that life as we know it may have emerged from an earlier RNA World. However, it has been difficult to reconcile the conditions used in laboratory experiments with real-world geochemical environments that may have existed on the early Earth and hosted the origin(s) of life. This challenge is in part due to geologic resurfacing and recycling that have erased the overwhelming majority of the Earth’s prebiotic history. We therefore propose that Mars, a planet frozen in time, comprised of many surfaces that have remained relatively unchanged since their formation >4 Gya, is the best alternative to search for environments consistent with geochemical requirements imposed by the RNA world. This talk will aim to give a brief introduction to diverse research into the origins of life, whether life could have emerged on early Mars, and how we can detect signs life today.