Tag Archives: University of Canterbury

Making life from the primordial soup

Professor Warren Tate

This looks like a great lecture coming up next week. At least for residents of Rotorua, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

It’s the 2011 Rutherford Lecture:

How to Make Life from the Primordial Soup. Why RNA is the key ingredient to human life.

And the speaker is 2010 Rutherford Medallist Professor Warren Tate.

The details of venues and times are:


Time/Date: 7.30pm/ Tuesday 13 September
Location: Concert Chamber, Rotorua Convention Centre, 1170 Fenton Street, Rotorua

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Time/Date: 7.30pm/ Wednesday 14 September
Location: Speirs Centre, Palmerston North Boys High School, Featherston Street, Palmerston North

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Time/Date: 6.30pm/ Thursday 15 September
Location: C1 Central Lecture Theatre, Arts Road, University of Canterbury.

Park in the Clyde Road car Park, off Arts Road, which is off Clyde Road.  Once parked, follow Arts Road to the centre of the campus – the central Lecture Block is at the corner of Arts Road and Forestry Road.


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I got a reminder from the Royal Society today so it looks like there are still seats.

For further information go to 2011 Rutherford Lecture- How to Make Life from the Primordial Soup.

Here’s a teaser from the advertising:

One of the biggest questions in life is how did we get here? How did rock and steam become our world, full of life and diversity?

The science community thought they had the answer with the achievement of the Human Genome Project just after the turn of the new millennium, however ten years on it seems that it may not be DNA which is the star but its sibling RNA.

In this lecture, 2010 Rutherford Medallist Professor Warren Tate will speculate on RNA’s role 3‐4 billion years ago in the origin of protein synthesis and the genetic code, and how understanding the history of this fascinating molecule might lead us into the future with the development of therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease, HIV and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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A desperate plea to be noticed?

Quite a few local bloggers* have commented on the legal action some New Zealand climate deniers are taking to get NIWA to change its national temperature record. This is only the latest step in a nasty little campaign by these people to deny the reality of climate change. Nasty because it distorts the data and facts and makes outrageous attacks on the integrity and honesty of New Zealand scientists. The latest step – but I do wonder if it is the last step – seeing it is likely to backfire.Initially this campaign attempted to take advantage of the “climategate” email hysteria to whip up local anti-science feelings. Of late, as this hysteria has dispersed the local deniers have deteriorated to a small but vocal clique making carping and dishonest attacks on NIWA. I guess they see this legal action as a way of somehow revitalising their campaign.

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