The Vital Question and The Future of Life

Nick Lane

24/02/2016 7:00 pm

What were the origins of life and what are the biological changes we can expect in the future as our synthetic control over our genes advances exponentially? Was there a vital spark that set off life on our planet and why do we age and die? Evolutionary biochemist Nick Lane and geneticist and presenter of Radio 4’s Inside ScienceAdam Rutherford, discuss their recent books – Lane’s The Vital Question; and Rutherford’s double book that can be started at either end – Creation: The Origins of Life and Creation: The Future of Life. Together they not only cover the past 4m millennia, but offer an up-to-the-minute overview of the latest developments in our understanding of DNA and gene manipulation.

Nick Lane

Nick Lane is the author of three critically acclaimed books on evolutionary biochemistry, translated into 20 languages. His Life Ascending won the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books and The Vital Question has been shortlisted for the 2015 Biology Book of the Year. He leads the UCL Research Frontiers Origins of Life programme. Image c. Wide Eyed Entertainment

Adam Rutherford

Adam Rutherford is a geneticist, writer and broadcaster, whose work includes the award-winning BBC television series The Cell, Horizon: Playing God andThe Beauty of Anatomy, as well as numerous programmes for BBC Radio 4. An honorary Research Fellow at UCL, Dr Rutherford is also a movie geek and has been scientific adviser on many well-known movies.