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Soft Matter for the Origin of Life: Liquid Crystals, Phase Transitions and the Prebiotic Emergence of Biopolymers
Par Tommaso P. Fraccia (IPGG - ESPCI)
Le 12 Décembre 2019 à 11h00 - Salle de séminaires LJP, Jussieu, 32-33, 5ème

Résumé

The abiotic formation of biopolymers from their monomeric building blocks and the emergence of cellular structures are still unsolved problems in the origin of life investigation. In this frame soft matter concepts of self-assembly, collective ordering and phase transitions can give an outstanding contribution, complementary to the bio-chemical approaches. I will talk about my recent works on the spontaneous ordering of RNA and DNA fragments into soft phases typical of liquid crystals, showing relevant features for promoting the polymerization and selection of nucleic acids. I will also talk about ongoing development of my investigation aimed at expanding this approach to complex biomolecular mixtures, where co-assembly of nucleic acids and peptides or amphiphilic molecules drives the formation of complex coacervates with different degrees of order.