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A visit from the "Brain Hunter"

TV Interview on how mineral surfaes influence the biological world and our understanding of origin of life, past ecosystems and evolution.

This Wednesday marked an extraordinary day at the laboratory as the Spanish TV show, "The Brain Hunter," visited to interview some of the research going on in the section. They interviewed me about my work with mineral surfaces and their interactions with the biological wold. The conversation delved into the very fascinating realms of how mineral surfaces may have played a pivotal role in the origin of life, the preservation of ancient environmental DNA, and the concept of mineral-facilitated horizontal gene transfer. 

Mineral Surfaces and the Origin of Life. Our discussion began with the exploration of the role mineral surfaces might have played in the origin of life. Minerals have long been considered essential players in the complex symphony of life's beginnings. The interaction between prebiotic molecules and mineral surfaces could have provided a unique environment for the emergence of life's building blocks. More

Preservation of Ancient Environmental DNA:

Another aspect of our discussion revolved around the preservation of ancient environmental DNA. The ability of mineral surfaces to retain and protect genetic material has significant implications for understanding past ecosystem assemblages across a range of environmental settings on our planet. More

Mineral-Facilitated Horizontal Gene Transfer:

We also talked about the concept of mineral-facilitated horizontal gene transfer. Horizontal gene transfer refers to the exchange of genetic material between organisms, and we have explored how bacteria can take up extracellular DNA adsorbed to mineral surfaces. Based on the work in my group I find that mineral facilitated horizontal represent an underexplored pathway for the evolution of life and that opens up new avenues of exploration. In addition to evolutionary aspects we can also use these concepts to help prevent propagation of antibiotic resistance as well as design smart drug delivery. More here and here

Final remarks:

The TV interview with "The Brain Hunter" provided a fun  platform to share the exciting developments in my research on mineral surfaces. The exploration of topics ranging from the origin of life to the preservation of ancient DNA and mineral-facilitated horizontal gene transfer highlighted the multifaceted significance of mineral interactions in the grand tapestry of life's evolution.

As the episode airs, I look forward to reaching a non-scientific audience and hopeful spark interest and convey the significance of the interplay between the biologic and physical world. Thanks lots to the professional film crew and to Carlota for taking pictures and for taking part in the filming of the atomic force microscopy


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