TITLE: On the Origins of Life and the Universe
SPEAKER: John Mather, Craig Mello
EVENT DATE: 07/26/2007
RUNNING TIME: 136 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Two 2006 Nobel Prize winners addressed the fundamental questions pondered by many through the ages: the origins of life and the universe. The event, "On the Origins of Life and the Universe: An Afternoon with 2006 Nobel Laureates Craig Mello and John Mather," was sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center and the Science, Business and Technology Division of the Library of Congress, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Speaker Biography: John Mather, recently named chief scientist at NASA, is an astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at Goddard Space Flight Center and leads the James Webb Space Telescope science team. He served as project scientist for NASA???s Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, which measured the spectrum of heat radiation from the Big Bang. As principal investigator for the Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer on COBE, he showed that the cosmic microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within 50 parts per million, confirming the Big Bang theory to extraordinary accuracy.
Speaker Biography: Craig Mello is the Blais Professor of Molecular Medicine and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His research is focused on gene regulation during development and the mechanism of RNA interference. Along with Andrew Fire and colleagues, Mello reported in 1998 that double-stranded RNA can induce sequence-specific gene silencing in animals. Along with researchers around the world, Mello and colleagues went on to show that the underlying mechanism is conserved in numerous other organisms, including humans, and is essential for human life.