Sir Venki Ramakrishnan (Trinity College, Cambridge)
President of the Royal Society, 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Cambridge Society of Paris is proud to present the first in its innovative lecture series
“The Cambridge Cutting Edge Lectures”
Everyone has heard of DNA — the molecule that seems to hold the secrets of all life, but hardly anyone has heard of the ribosome. While DNA is the blueprint for life it rests inertly within our cells. The ribosome is an enormous molecular machine, even more ancient than DNA that translates the information in our genes into proteins. These proteins in turn make up much of our bodies andcatalyse thousands of processes within our cells. A ribosome is a machine no cell can do without, but until recently, how this machine worked was a mystery. As well as being essential for life, its practical importance also lies in the fact that theribosome is the target of many major antibiotics. A knowledge of the structure of the ribosome is the key to the development of new treatments against deadly infections, so crucial for the future of mankind.