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Origins 2011 – Abstracts

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L8a: Invited Lecture – Evolutionary Perspectives Biodiversity/Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Time: Friday, 08/Jul/2011: 8:30am - 9:15am
Session Chair: Simon Conway Morris
Location: Auditorium Pasteur

Session Abstract

The session timespan includes a 15-min introduction by the session Chair.


The Regulation of the Air

Euan Nisbet


Air is a biological construction: its composition now results from biotic activity. Did natural selection, acting on ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco) specificity for CO2 over O2, exert control the atmospheric CO2:O2 ratio? Rubisco together with nitrogenase, may thus control atmospheric pressure, and sustain both global surface temperature and ocean pH/oxygenation. Their co-evolution may have allowed natural selection to maintain clement conditions on the Earth's surface.