Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015
DNA instability and possible alternative life forms
Chairperson: Lucio Ildebrando Maria Cocco
Human cancer is generally associated with mutagenic changes in tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes. While some of those deleterious mutations may be caused by radiation and other environmental agents, a large proportion is likely to be due to unavoidable endogenous chemical DNA damage by hydrolysis and oxidation, in combination with imperfect repair. Major forms of such spontaneous DNA alterations and the relevant DNA repair mechanisms will be described.
One or several simple life forms appeared early in the lifetime of our Earth. Strategies of ongoing searches for unusual life forms include studies in the presence of high concentrations of organic solvents such as glycol under anaerobic conditions.