March 30th 2015 – Rafik Neme, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology

Rafik NemeI’m a Researcher at the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology (http://www.evolbio.mpg.de/2169/en) in Plön, Germany.

I’m a Colombian (born in Bogotá, raised in Barranquilla) living in Germany for over five years now. I started my scientific career in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, but before long I found myself asking questions about molecular mechanisms in Evolution and working a lot with computers.

My research focuses on the how nature produces new genes from things which were not genes before, i.e de novo gene birth. This is a very interesting topic to address questions such as: how are functions evolved for the first time? How does the transition between non-function to function look like? and which processes at the molecular level are responsible for the production of new genes?

Asides from all this, I enjoy science fiction literature and cinema very much, I like to engage in (usually pointless but very entertaining) discussions about philosophy, politics, and the role of modern scientific thinking in shaping our society.

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