Celebrating Michael Russell’s 80th birthday, together with 30 years of the submarine alkaline vent theory for the origin of life, and being the first scientific meeting of the European COST network on chemobrionics http://www.chemobrionics.org, the meeting will be of interest of scientists working on the origins of life and, more broadly, understanding and controlling physical, chemical, and biological properties of self-organized precipitation processes.

The meeting will take place from March 11 to Mar 13, 2019, in Granada, Spain. Anticipated speakers include:

  • Michael J. Russell (NASA JPL, Los Angeles): Prospecting for Life
  • Patrick Beckett (UC Davis): Thermodynamic fluctuations and information processing at the nano-scale in an ancient, alkaline vent environment
  • Eloi Camprubi (Origins Center, Utrecht): Vectorial prebiotic chemistry
  • Silvana Cardoso (Cambridge University): Fluid mechanics at the origin of life
  • Grayson Chadwick (Caltech, Los Angeles): Methanotrophy
  • Nick Lane (UCL, London): TBA
  • Yamei Li (ELSI, Tokyo): The role of metal sulfide minerals in the prebiotic catalysis for origin of life
  • Bill Martin (Institute of Molecular Evolution, Düsseldorf): Native metals and carbon chemistry at vents
  • Shawn McGlynn (ELSI, Tokyo): Oxidative thio-esterification
  • Ryuhei Nakamura (RIKEN, Saitama): Electrochemistry at deep-sea hydrothermal vents for autotrophic origin of life
  • Wolfgang Nitschke (CNRS, Paris): Can the mineral Fougerite mediate the step from strictly exergonic chemistry to a free energy converting precursor of bioenergetics?
  • Ignacio Sainz (CSIC IACT Granada): Chemical gardens and alkaline hydrothermal vents
  • Victor Sojo (Institute for Advanced Studies, Berlin): A few lessons learned trying to fix CO2 in alkaline vent conditions

There are no registration fees for the meeting. COST funding (www.cost.eu) will support some 60 attendees from Europe. We anticipate approximately 100 attendees.

If you would like to join us please pre-register, and tell us whether you would like to present some work, at https://www.chemobrionics.eu/events-1/30-80-meeting-alkaline-vents-30th-mike-russells-80th

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The NWO-CWI Center for Mathematics and Informatics, Amsterdam, will host a symposium on machine learning in heliophysics, on 16 – 20 September 2019 in Amsterdam. Brief indications of the programme and venue, and a Registration of Interest form, can be found here.

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On 7 July 2017 the Executive Board of NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, decided to provide funding for the first phase in the Origins Center’s research programme. In this phase, a number of pathfinder projects will be executed that should lay the groundwork for a long-term, collaborative effort to attain the five game changers. Thanks to the funding decision, a first-phase community building and outreach programme can also be initiated. We will reach out to those who submitted, back in 2015, questions within the National Science Agenda, as we will do to others who similarly wonder at life occurring in the universe. In addition to the Origins Center, NWO funded seven other initiatives responding to the National Science Agenda.

We will soon announce six vacancies for postdoctoral research fellow positions for the pathfinder projects.

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