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Origins of Life: The Possible and the Actual

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organized by Chris Kempes (SFI) and Ricard Solé UPF Barcelona; SFI)
February 1-5, 2021


Meeting description: Is life an expected event? Are there many alternatives to life as we know it? What is the relevance of combinatorics and chemical spaces in allowing life to emerge? Can we extract general conclusions from prebiotic chemistries about the early precursor of life? When did information become a dominant component of the dynamics of early living systems? Why do key processes involving molecular information within cells involve nanomachines reading a linear tape? Are closed compartments growing and splitting the only solutions for protocells to emerge? These and many other questions are of fundamental importance and all revolve around the problem of how the first steps leading to complex life took place. We aim to gather together a group of scientists from multiple disciplines to explore the boundaries of the possible paths to living complexity and the potential laws that constraint the space of the possible.