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Anthony C. Forster, MD, PhD
(Brigham and Women's Hospital; Harvard Medical School):
"Synthesizing Biological Systems"

Monday, May 17, 2004, 4:00–5:00 PM EST

Bartos Theatre, MIT Media Lab (E15)

A synthetic, life-like system dependent only on small molecules for replication is within reach. Our approach is to reconstitute and combine DNA replication, transcription, RNA maturation, and translation using de novo synthesis and a biochemical debugging strategy. An essentially complete functional and structural understanding of a version of biological self-replication should emerge, with applications including new biochemical tools, engineered microorganisms, and drug discovery. As an example of the latter, the genetic code has been redesigned for the synthesis and display of polymers of unnatural amino acids towards the directed evolution of small molecule ligands and drug candidates.

Steve Yang: "Self-Assembly of Surfactant-like Amphiphilic Peptides"

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