Dear Colleagues:

The “RNA-Based Life” Conference will be held at Indiana University on
November 15-18, 2001. Formal activities will begin on the evening of
Thursday the 15th and will conclude with the banquet on Saturday the 17th.
An outstanding lineup of speakers and sessions will bring an
interdisciplinary point of view to the question, “How viable is Life based
on RNA?” Developments in RNA biochemistry, cell biology, molecular
medicine and genomics have cast new light on RNAs role in sustaining life.
This meeting brings together experts from each of these disciplines to
discover i) whether we can create and exploit RNA- based life now to
biomedical or other advantage, and ii) whether ribo-organisms may have
once been in the oceans of Earth, under the rocks of Mars, or beneath the
ice of Europa.

The oral presentations at this year’s RNA-Based Life meeting will focus on
four areas: i) the expanding catalytic repertoire of RNA catalysts in
vitro; ii) the relationship between aptamer and ribozyme activities in
vitro and their function inside cells; iii) biomedical applications for
intracellularly expressed aptamers and ribozymes; and iv) comparative
genomics and other computational approaches to understanding RNA function.
Additional related topics will be represented in the poster presentations,
such as RNA structure, the role of peptides in the early evolution of
life, biomedical uses of aptamers against extracellular targets, and

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Jack W. Szostak and Stuart A. Kauffman

PLENARY SPEAKERS: David Bartel, Ronald Breaker, David Engelke, Michael
Famulok, Pamela Green, Andres Jaschke, Niles Lehman, David Lilley, Jim
Maher, John Rossi, Bruce Sullenger, Sarah Woodson, and Michael Yarus.

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS will be chosen from among the submitted abstracts; all
other submitted abstracts will be presented as posters.

ORGANIZERS: Donald Burke, Martha Fedor, Renee Schroeder, Andrew Ellington.

REGISTRATION: All the information and forms for registration and abstract
submission are on the website for the meeting: If after visiting the web
site you still have questions about registration, travel, and lodging,
they may be directed to Mary Morgan, Conference Coordinator, IU
Conferences, PO Box 249, Bloomington, IN 47402-0249, Phone: 800/933-9330,
Fax: 812/855-8077, email: (attn RNALife). Foreign
registrants only: Payment must be made in US dollars. Normally we require
that you obtain a cheque of bank draft drawn on a bank which does business
in the US. However, if this is prohibitively expensive, we may be able to
accept travelers cheques on arrival if you so indicate on your
registration form.

POSTER: A printable file of the poster for the meeting can be downloaded
from the meeting website.



Please forward this message to any colleague you think might be interested
in the RNA-Based Life meeting.

SUPPORT FOR THIS CONFERENCE has been generously provided by NASA’s
Astrobiology Institute, Indiana University, the RNA Society, and the
following corporate sponsors: Noxxon Pharma AG, Trilink Biotech, Ibis
Therapeutics, Integrated DNA Technologies, Archemix Corporation, Pfizer,
Inc., Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, NascaCell, RNA-Tec, and Dharmacon
Research, Inc.


Donald H. Burke

Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biology

Director, Center for Early and Extreme Life

Department of Chemistry

Indiana University

Bloomington, IN 47405

tel. 812-856-4977

FAX 812-855-8300