Noyce Conference Room
  US Mountain Time
Shawn McGlynn, Associate Professor, Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Our campus is closed to the public for this event.

Most of the cells we encounter today use a chemiosmotic potential as an intermediate in reaction coupling (energy conservation). The widespread utilization of this strategy has led some to suggest that the very first cells also used chemiosmosis. But what could have been the power source to generate this potential? and what mechanisms may have allowed for its utilization? No one knows for sure, but in this talk, I’ll present some fresh ideas on how a chemiosmotic potential might have developed abiotically, and how this process may have in turn allowed for positive selection to act on any organism that developed a mechanism for its utilization. I’ll also discuss some preliminary laboratory experiments to test the hypothesis that direct electrochemical reactions may have had an important role in the origination of the membrane spanning ion potential. 

Research Collaboration
SFI Host: 
Chris Kempes