We will reconstruct in the lab the first cycles of Darwinian evolution. Our bottom up approach reconstructs the boundary conditions of early Earth to gather and drive the first living molecules. We will focus on persistent replication, emergence of a phenotype and selection to overcome central hurdles in our understanding of the origins of life. The approach can be compared to an engineer who designs a chemical plant to implement a specific chemical reaction. We will aim for conditions under which these genetic molecules can polymerize efficiently to oligonucleotides of sufficient length and trigger the initial replication cycles. They include temperature gradients, water-air interfaces, crystallization and gelation processes at the micrometer scale. We aim to create a self-selection of random sequences into a phenotype of sequence-similar chirally pure RNA or DNA molecules.
Requirements: An independent mind with practical skills and a broad background from physics, biophysics, physical chemistry, biochemistry and chemistry would be most desired.
Position/Salary: TV-ÖD E13 100%, 2 years with extension to 3 years.
Group: Prof. Dieter Braun, Faculty of Physics, Systems Biophysics, LMU Munich
Please apply via the online application tool of the Center for NanoScience. Other forms of application will not be accepted.