Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire

Genetic code: Mechanisms, Evolution and Engineering

Genetic code: Mechanisms, Evolution and Engineering

The genetic code was unraveled some 55 years ago, in a short period of time, but through arduous and insightful chemical and biochemical experimental designs. Formally, the genetic code is a cypher, a frozen table of correlations between two sets of letters with few variations. Viewed at the molecular level, however, the code as we know it now appeared in stages, resulting from the complex molecular recognition and selection processes full of contingencies at the core of the transition from chemistry to biology in biological evolution. In the last twenty years, a wealth of structures of active ribosomes and components of the translation apparatus has appeared. We now have a rich diversity of structures at sufficient resolution to integrate biochemical and biological observations in congruence with molecular data.

In this meeting, these structural constraints will be described with their functional and organizational impacts on the cellular integration and homeostasis analyzed from various angles. Fifteen internationally renowned speakers, from four different European countries, have already accepted to present their last results. They will speak on four broad themes: ribosome structures and decoding, translational variations and miscoding, evolution and code optimization, ribosome engineering and code expansion. Topics will cover structures and kinetics of translation, neuronal translation, the interplay between translation and metabolism, the origins of the code and metabolism, and engineering of the code. Most importantly, twenty slots are kept for talks chosen from the received abstracts. This process will give the opportunity to speak to young scientists and allow for unexpected or recent new results to be presented and discussed. Two poster sessions are also planned to encourage exchange and discussions.

We are looking forward to meeting you next year in Strasbourg.

                        Eric Westhof,

                        Chair of the Scientific Commmittee

                        Professor emeritus - University of Strasbourg

                        Member of the French Academy of Sciences

Further information


The "Genetic Code: Mechanisms, Evolution and Engineering" congress is organized by two renowned French scientific societies: The French Society of Genetics and the French Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

It will bring together mainly European researchers working in this field.

This theme linked to the fundamental question of the origin of life, allowing the confrontation of hypotheses, will lead to new syntheses generating advances in scientific knowledge.

The site and the participants 

150 participants will be present, with guest speakers of world renown.

The congress will take place at the St. Thomas Cultural Center, close to the European Institutions. This site was chosen because it maximizes the opportunities for meetings between renowned speakers and young people grow (PhD students and post-doctoral students) by proposing on the spot, breaks, lunches and dinners.