March 21, 2015. Steven Benner will join speakers who are working to expand the genetic
alphabet to present FfAME's recent work. The presentation is on the morning of Monday, March 23rd, at the American Chemical Society meeting in Denver.
March 19, 2015. Steven Benner will join experts in astrobiology and religion in a Blumberg discussion at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, covering the topic:
"Astrobiology and the Religious Imagination: Reexamining Notions of Creation, Humanity, Selfhood, and the Cosmos"
The discussion is open to the public, and will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, in room LJ-119, on the first floor of the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
January 18, 2015. On January 24, the Florida Museum of Natural History will be hosting
Sue, the famous Tyrannosaurus rex visiting Gainesville from the Field
Museum in Chicago. FfAME will be there, showcasing its "Jurassic Park"
research. This includes work resurrecting proteins from our primate
ancestors that first allowed us to imbibe alcohol, the ancient yeast
that first created alcohol on Earth, and from ancient ruminants
responding to climate change. 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
January 12, 2015. Expertise of the staff at the FfAME concerning the origin of life was called upon last month to comment on new results, emerging from the Czech Republic, on how meteorite impact might have led to the formation of small amounts of the building blocks essential for RNA, believed to be the first genetic molecule. See the article on the Science website.
December 18, 2014. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has just
announced the election of Steven A. Benner as one of its 2014 Fellows.
Steven Benner is President and Distinguished Fellow at the Foundation
for Applied Molecular Evolution (FfAME), a nonprofit research
organization in Gainesville. In support of its awarding this prestigious
honor by America's oldest scientific society, the AAAS cited Dr.
Benner's pioneering work in many fields, including paleogenetics,
synthetic biology, evolutionary bioinformatics, human medicine, and
space exploration. Dr. Benner joins six other Fellows elected this year
from the Gainesville scientific community, including Cammy Abernathy,
Robert Cousins, Andrew Hanson, Ann Progulske-Fox, and Wolfgang M.
Sigmund, all at the University of Florida, and Bruce McFadden, also at
the Florida Museum of Natural History.
December 1, 2014. Matthew Carrigan, Steven Benner, and their colleagues at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution recently resurrected proteins that oxidize alcohol in the digestive tracts of now-extinct primates dating back some 80 million years. The behaviors of these ancient proteins suggest that our primate ancestors acquired the ability to metabolize digested alcohol at the same time as they descended from the trees to walk on the ground, where they could pick up fruit that had fallen, suffered damage to its husk, and therefore became infected with fermenting yeast. The Science magazine news piece can be found here.
September 22, 2014. Japanese television described last week work being done at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution on the role of minerals and their elements on the origin of life on earth, the potential for life elsewhere in the solar system.