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The Origins Project

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CBCI: The Origins Project  (Georgia Tech Research Corporation)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Origins Project is a center for integrated research, education and public outreach focused on the chemistry that may have led to the origin of life. The NSF is supporting The Origins Project as part of an effort to address "big picture" questions in chemistry through the formation of Chemical Bonding Centers (CBC).

The ultimate goal is to understand which molecules and which chemical reactions started life on Earth around 3 billion years ago, and to engage the public in this scientific quest.

The CBC program is designed to support the formation of centers that can address major, long-term basic chemical research problems that have the potential to produce both transformative research and innovation in the field. The Georgia Tech-Emory grant is Phase I funding; at the end of Phase I in three years, the NSF may choose to approve The Origins Project for Phase II funding, which will provide up to $15 million over five years.
The center's research will seek to understand what molecules were present on the prebiotic earth, and to understand how molecular building blocks that are either identical or similar to ones found in life today can spontaneously form larger molecules, similar to proteins and DNA, that are essential for life to exist.

The center also includes the participation of Spellman College in Atlanta and Jackson State University in Mississippi.

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