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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI to hold lecture on genetics role
in diversity of life on earth

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 26, 2000 -- Mitchell Lloyd Sogin, director of the Josephine Bay Paul Center for Molecular Evolution at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. will give a public lecture on the origin and early evolution of the nucleated cell based on clues from its genes.

Sogin's talk on "Broken Limbs and Net-like Structures in the Tree of Life" will be in Room 215 of the Morrill Life Science Building on URI's Kingston Campus on Feb. 7 at noon. The lecture is free and open to the public. Anyone curious about the vast diversity of life on earth, how such diversity arose, how gene sequencing can be used to investigate these issues, and those interested in protecting the vast storehouse of genetic data stored in microorganisms will be especially interested in this presentation.

Sogin is the author of a new proposal for the early evolution of eukaryotic organisms. Typically, the origin and evolution of eukaryotic cells has been found from evidence in the fossil record and in the phenotypic features of organisms living today. Sogin has pioneered the use of genetic information coded in the "blueprints of life" (the base sequences of nucleic acids such as ribosomal RNA's) to seek out the lineages that relate diverse living organisms to one another through their common ancestry. Discoveries in his laboratory contradict the current opinions that divides eukaryotic organisms into a few discrete groups, and have led to his proposal that eukaryotes should be viewed as a continuation of diverging lineages.

Sogin is also director of the Giardia lamblia Genome Project, funded by the National institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health, the LI-COR Biotechnology Division and the G. Unger Vetlsen Foundation.

The lecture is sponsored by the URI Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee, and the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.


For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116


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