Daisuke Kiga, Associate Professor of computational intelligence and systems science and faculty member of the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, will present a seminar, “Simplification of the Genetic Code: Restricted Diversity of Genetically Encoded Amino Acids”, at the ASL on February 17th as part of the ASL and Ames Bio and Syn Bio Talks Seminar Series. The event will be held in Building N239, Room B39 from 12:00-1:00pm.
Refreshments will be provided and you are welcome to bring your lunch.
Dr. Kiga’s brief bio and an abstract of his talk follow below. Questions about this event can be directed to the POC, Peter Minogue.
At earlier stages in the evolution of the universal genetic code, fewer than 20 amino acids were considered to be used. Although this notion is supported by a wide range of data, the actual existence and function of the genetic codes with a limited set of canonical amino acids have not been addressed experimentally, in contrast to the successful development of the expanded codes. Recently, we constructed artificial genetic codes involving a reduced alphabet. In one of the codes, a tRNA(Ala) variant with the Trp anticodon reassigns alanine to an unassigned UGG codon in a cell-free translation system lacking tryptophan. This method will provide not only new insights into primordial genetic codes, but also an essential protein engineering tool for the assessment of the early stages of protein evolution.
Daisuke Kiga is an Associate Professor of computational intelligence and systems science and faculty member of the Earth-Life Science Institute at Tokyo Institute of Technology. His research areas of focus include the engineering of genetic codes and the artificial genetic circuit in living cell. Dr. Kiga has also mentored projects iGEM projects and served as judge for the competition.