Time in Time Again: Reconstructing the Geologic Past through Ancient Proteins

TUE, DEC 15, 2015 (00:00)

For the final part of the Rock the Café series, we will hear about reconstructing the deep past by looking at ancient genes. When accessing our planet’s deep past, we have two main datasets to draw upon in reconstructing major transitions in the biosphere: the rock record (i.e., fossils) and the existing biodiversity (i.e., genetic sequences). In this talk, Dr. Kacar will explore a third methodology —one that allows us to reconstruct ancient genes.

Image: Pixbay

+ BIO: Betül Kacar

Betül Kacar is an astrobiologist from Istanbul. She is a Resarch Project Leader at Harvard's Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, where she resurrects inferred ancestral genes in the laboratory and engineers them inside modern genomes. Prior to that, she was a Postdoc with NASA's Astrobiology Institute, where she designed a bacterial system combining paleogenetics with laboratory evolution. Dr. Kacar is a recipient of research grants from NASA and The John Templeton Foundation, and is a co-founder of SAGANet: The Online Astrobiology Grassroots Network, designed to promote mentorship and outreach activities in science, engineering and related fields.

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