Origins of Life
(24 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)
Course No. 1515
Taught by Robert M. Hazen
George Mason University
Ph.D., Harvard University
Four billion years ago, the infant Earth was a seething cauldron of erupting volcanoes, raining meteors, and hot noxious gases, totally devoid of life. But a relatively short time later—100 to 200 million years—the planet was teeming with primitive organisms. What happened?
Professor Robert M. Hazen, one of the nation's foremost science educators and leader of a NASA-supported team that is studying the origins of life in the universe, leads you on a 24-lecture expedition to find the answer to this momentous question.
The search takes you from path-breaking experiments in the 19th century proving that the molecules of life are no different from other chemicals, to the increasingly sophisticated understanding in the 20th century of how the chemistry of life works, to the near certainty that the 21st century will see spectacular and unpredictable developments in our understanding of how life began.
12 hours and 28 mins | ISBN: n/a | MP3 | 177 MB with Course Lecture Titles
* 1. The Grand Question of Life’s Origins
* 2. The Historical Setting of Origins Research
* 3. What Is Life?
* 4. Is There Life on Mars?
* 5. Earth’s Oldest Fossils
* 6. Fossil Isotopes
* 7. Molecular Biosignatures
* 8. Emergence
* 9. The Miller-Urey Experiment
* 10. Life from the Bottom of the Sea
* 11. The Deep, Hot Biosphere
* 12. Experiments at High Pressure
* 13. More Experiments Under Pressure
* 14. Deep Space Dust, Molten Rock, and Zeolite
* 15. Macromolecules and the Tree of Life
* 16. Lipids and Membrane Self-Organization
* 17. Life on Clay, Clay as Life
* 18. Life’s Curious Handedness
* 19. Self-Replicating Molecular Systems
* 20. Gnter Wchtershuser’s Grand Hypothesis
* 21. The RNA World
* 22. The Pre-RNA World
* 23. Natural Selection and Competition
* 24. Three Scenarios for the Origin of Life