New Science of the Origin of Life: It's implications for Humanity and How we do Science! By Dr. Bruce Damer Research Scientist, Biomolecular Engineering, UC Santa Cruz Director, The Biota Institute
Conscious Biotechers presents Dr. Bruce Damer as our first guest for our Inspiring Scientific Visionaries speaker series. His new groundbreaking theory on the origin of life developed with colleagues at UCSC and around the world appeared in Scientific American this past summer — and was deemed so significant that it beat out the solar eclipse for the cover story!
This new theory is the first "end-to-end" chemical model of an origin of life proposed in science and has implications not just in evolutionary biology, but also in chemistry, physics, artificial intelligence (AI) and even philosophy. Its development over forty years of parallel scientific endeavor is a large scale multidisciplinary effort that attempts to answer the ultimate questions of where we came from, what the fundamental properties of the living world are, and where we may find life elsewhere in the universe. It also might guide us to create a second genesis of life in the lab, and teach us how to create a sustainable civilization and future path for life’s continuation into the cosmos.
This work also carries the potential to spark a revolution in chemistry and medical science, including a whole plethora of discoveries and innovations to develop into processes and products. His work with Prof. David Deamer (the father of nanopore sequencing) on wet-dry cycling synthesis of biopolymers is opening up a new type of “chemical nanotechnology”. Another spinoff could create the world’s first “chemical search engine” which could be used by Pharma to find efficient catalytic pathways to produce targeted compounds in higher yields. Along with colleagues at Harvard and other institutions, their “bottom up” synthetic biology approach to create the first viable protocell also promises to reveal new insights into systems chemistry and the functioning of all of biology.
And, as a special opportunity for Conscious Biotechers, Dr. Damer will share an integral part of his scientific process: thought experiments. In the tradition of Rene Descartes, Albert Einstein, Francis Crick and Charles Darwin, Dr. Damer has harnessed the power of his imagination to help inspire and guide his work in developing and testing new theories. This technique has helped him achieve major breakthroughs in everything from the origin of life to rocket science (literally), and he is actively looking for collaborators to join him in thought experiment working groups at the newly forming Biota Institute. There are many new insights waiting to be discovered and we hope you will join us!
About Dr. Bruce Damer:
Dr. Bruce Damer, is an interdisciplinary scientist, entrepreneur, designer and author. His main work for the past forty years has been developing a practice in complex systems. This approach has yielded breakthroughs in social organization in networked virtual worlds, computational models for evolution, and a working scenario for the origin of life on Earth. He also collaborates with NASA and the space industry on numerous projects on designing and simulating spacecraft architectures that provide a viable path for expansion of human civilization beyond Earth. He is serving on an advisory team guiding NASA to where to land the upcoming Mars2020 rover in the first dedicated mission to search for evidence of life on another world.
Dr. Damer currently serves as Principal Scientist at The Biota Institute, Associate Researcher in the Department of Biomolecular Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, and Associate of the NASA Astrobiology Center. He received his PhD from University College, Dublin; MSEE from the University of Southern California and BSc from the University of Victoria. His bio, publications and personal projects can be found at his personal web site https://www.damer.com