Genomics and the Complexity of Life

Date/Time
Date(s) - 13 Feb 2013 until 13 Feb 2013
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Location
U of A Centennial Hall


Feb. 13: Genomics and the Complexity of Life

By Michael W. Nachman, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology

What determines the complexity of life? Charles Darwin described how evolution produced “endless forms most beautiful,” yet he was unaware of genetics and the laws of inheritance. Our genomes provide the ultimate record of evolution, and evolution explains many fascinating aspects of our genomes. How do changes in the genome allow organisms to adapt to their environment? How do changes in the genome produce new species? Why do worms and humans have about the same number of genes? This lecture will explore how genomics has deepened our understanding of evolution in ways Darwin never could have imagined.

About the series:

The University of Arizona College of Science‘s popular spring lecture series will present six free lectures exploring the astonishing advances in genomics research. The first lecture will be on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall on the UA campus.

From Gregor Mendel’s discovery of the laws of heredity to the recognition of DNA as life’s critical molecular “key,” scientists have probed the role of this remarkably complex material and the code it contains. Their findings continue to expand our understanding of life.

With the genetic code of hundreds of life forms now sequenced and geometrically larger genomic datasets publicly available, scientists are able to advance research into the genetic roots of disease, how global viral pandemics occur, how transformative agricultural research can help feed our planet’s growing population, how environmental influences affect individual development, and how genetic mutation and variation impact survival at the species level.

This year’s corresponding teacher education program for science teachers at the 6-12 grade levels has filled. Research Corporation for Science Advancement funds tuition for the program, which provides two hours of graduate credit.

All the Genomics Now lectures are free and open to the public. The lectures will be held at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. on the UA campus. Parking is available on a pay-per-use basis in the Tyndall Avenue Garage, 880 E. Fourth St.

 

Funding for the College of Science Spring 2013 Lecture Series is provided by the Arizona Daily Star; Carondelet Health Network; Galileo Circle; Godat Design; Holualoa Companies; Miraval Resort & Spa; Raytheon; Research Corporation for Science Advancement; Tucson Electric Power; and Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.