This article has been republished with written permission from The Financial Times Ltd.
Wealthy investors are offering a $10m prize to the first scientific team that can create a genetic code from simple chemicals — reproducing the unknown process that led billions of years ago to DNA as the vehicle for transmitting information in life on Earth.
The Evolution 2.0 prize is an initiative by Perry Marshall, an online marketing entrepreneur based in Chicago. It will be judged by prominent scientists, including George Church, genetics professor at Harvard university, and Denis Noble, the Oxford university biologist who was the first to model the human heart on a computer.
“The biggest problems in science today are: how life got going in the first place and what is the origin of the genetic code,” said Professor Noble. “We want to know whether the way information is encoded in DNA is the result of chance or whether there are good chemical reasons why the code should be the way it is.” Read more »