4 November 2014

Energy and Matter at the origin of life

Organised by:

SCI's London Group in partnership with UCL's Chemical Physical Society

University College London, London, UK

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Essentially all living cells are chemiosmotic, meaning that they conserve energy and often drive carbon fixation using proton gradients across membranes. The mechanisms of proton pumping and energy conservation are understood at nearly atomic resolution, but almost nothing is known about the origin and evolution of chemiosmotic coupling. Its universality suggests that it must have arisen in the last universal common ancestor of life (LUCA), despite its modern complexity. Dr Lane will show how natural proton gradients in alkaline hydrothermal vents could have driven carbon fixation and energy conservation under abiotic conditions and protocellular conditions, and later, how the requirement to generate proton gradients could have driven the deep divergence between bacteria and archaea.


Dr Nick Lane, UCL

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Venue and Contact


Department of Chemistry
University College London
20 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AJ 


SCI Communications

Tel: 0207 598 1594

Email: Communications@soci.org

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Exhibition and Sponsorship

An exhibition will take place alongside the conference for companies and related organisations who may wish to exhibit. Please email conferences@soci.org for further information and prices. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.