Schedule Mar 23, 2011
The Origin and Evolution of Life: A Physical Problem?
Manfred Eigen, Max Planck, Gottingen

Manfred Eigen received his PhD at the University of Göttingen and is the former director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. In 1967, Eigen was awarded, along with Norrish and Porter, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They were distinguished for their studies of extremely fast chemical reactions induced in response to very short pulses of energy. For the last forty years Eigen has focused on the self-organization of matter and the evolution of biological macromolecules. His name is linked with the theory of the chemical hypercycle, the cyclicinkage of reaction cycles as an explanation for the self organization of prebiotic systems, which he described with Schuster in 1979. In 1992 he was awarded the Paul Ehrlich Prize for this work and its far-reaching consequences in biology. More recently his interest has shifted to the technological utilization of these ideas establishing a new "evolutionary biotechnology". Manfred Eigen is ranked as one of the leading internationally renowned scientists studying the molecular mechanisms of biological evolution.

Introduction by David Gross.

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