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Sunday, September 23 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm
A forgotten world: The living ocean - Eric Karsenti

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Special lecture


The first forms of life (bacteria-like particles) date back to 3.8 billions years, 1.3 billion years after the birth of our planet. Since then most forms of life have been found in the oceans for billions years before appearing on land. In fact, most of the important evolutionary steps that led to complex mammals on land later on, like multicellularisation, bilateralisation, skeleton formation body plan genes, first appeared in organisms living in the oceans.  This oceanic life, in turn changed the chemistry of our atmosphere, removing most of CO2 (the original earth atmosphere was anoxic and contained more than 90% CO2) and producing oxygen through photosynthesis, allowing the eventual emergence of placental organisms. Natural selection is but one of the many parameters that drove evolution of life on earth, especially in the oceans where the whole thing started. Symbiosis, altruism, collaborative and collective behaviors, genome exchanges and complex adaptations within large ecosystems are as important. Over billions years, the chemistry, climate, geology of earth have been co-evolving with living organisms and most of this happened in the Oceans. I will show what we know today about this beautiful story and how we are trying to better understand it, using the modern tools of molecular biology and large scale expeditions.


avatar for Dr. Eric Karsenti

Dr. Eric Karsenti

Group Leader and Senior Scientist in EMBL, Co-Director of Tara Oceans, EMBL, Cell Biology & Biophysics Unit
Sunday September 23, 2012 18:00 - 19:00 @ Auditorium 
avatar for Maria Leptin

Maria Leptin

EMBO Director, EMBO

Sunday September 23, 2012 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Attendees (29)