New Center Expands Origin of Life Studies

Scientific investigation of life's origins, once mostly a theoretical enterprise, has gained momentum in recent years as biologists have discovered hardy microbes in extreme terrestrial habitats and possible hints of lifelike structures in a Martian meteorite. One recent sign that the field is alive and well is the establishment of a new NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) for the Study of Origins of Life in the Albany area of New York. MULTIPLE YEARS: James Ferris, profe

Ricki Lewis
Aug 30, 1998

Scientific investigation of life's origins, once mostly a theoretical enterprise, has gained momentum in recent years as biologists have discovered hardy microbes in extreme terrestrial habitats and possible hints of lifelike structures in a Martian meteorite. One recent sign that the field is alive and well is the establishment of a new NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) for the Study of Origins of Life in the Albany area of New York.


MULTIPLE YEARS: James Ferris, professor of chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., is director of the four-year $4 million grant that is funding the center.
James Ferris, professor of chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., is director of the four-year $4 million grant that is funding the center. Ferris's large body of work on the polymerization of RNA nucleotides on clay surfaces is widely respected among origin of life researchers,...

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