We are thrilled to invite you to the upcomig lecture: “Bacteria metagenomics and solar energy harvesting / by Professor Oded Beja. 19/12 19:00 at the Nola Socks Pub, HAIFA

11 December 2022

We invite you all to the 2nd lecture in the “Science Over the Counter” series: “Bacteria, metagenomics and solar energy harvesting  / by Professor Oded Beja.

When? Monday, 19.12 at 19:00 . Opening doors: 18:00, Beginning of lecture: 19:00 pm
Where? Nola Socks Pub, 4 Shalom Aleichem Street, Ziv Center Haifa

*The lecture is free of charge and open to the general public.
*The lecture will be given in Hebrew
*To hold a spot please register in advance via the linkhttps://forms.gle/mHTLV7aoPyxmv8CT8

About the lecture:

  • What are “Light Sensing” proteins and how were they discovered in the waters of the Sea of Galilee, for the first time since 1971?
  • What is “harvesting solar energy”, what is the connection to photosynthesis, and how are these indirectly related to the visual system of various animals and also humans?
  • What are rhodopsins? What are bacteria and how is the color “deep purple” related to them?

The main way through which energy enters the food webs on Earth is with the help of protein systems that absorb energy from sunlight. Beja laboratory investigates the various systems with which microorganisms “harvest” energy from sunlight to satisfy their energy requirements.

In the lecture, I will talk about new families of light-sensing proteins (rhodopsins) that were discovered in the waters of the Sea of Galilee. Proteins that are responsible for harvesting solar energy (using solar energy to create chemical energy). Processes carried out by various microbes. I will describe the role of proteins in absorbing light of different colors and turning it into energy available to cells.

In the lecture, I will also talk about the field of “metagenomics”. A method that allows us to look at the genomes of bacteria and viruses without the need to grow them. Usually, when you want to study the genomes of bacteria and small creatures – you are required to grow them in what is called a “pure culture” in the laboratory. And since 98% of those marine microbes cannot be grown in the laboratory, you have to find other ways to look at their genomes and to make predictions about what they do for a living in the sea.

Prof. Oded Beja, a researcher in marine microbiology, joined the Biology Faculty at the Technion after a postdoc in California.


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