Conferences and Meetings: January 2012

Date/Time: Monday, January 30, 2011 11:00AM Pacific

Presenter: Paul Davies (Arizona State University)

Abstract: Cancer is widespread among eukaryotes, and can be successfully tackled only by understanding its place in the story of life itself - especially the evolution of multi-cellularity. In this seminar I will propose a new theory of cancer, drawing on insights from astrobiology. The central hypothesis is that cancer is an organized pre-programmed process driven by a cassette of highly conserved, deeply-evolved ancient genes - genes that are active in early-stage embryo development, and which become inappropriately re-awakened in the adult form. In effect, cancer tumors are atavisms, recapitulating an ancient life form - "Metazoa 1.0" - dating back to the dawn of multi-cellularity. This hypothesis differs fundamentally from the popular notion that cancers are deregulated rogue cells running amok, and explains cancer's well-known robustness and resilience. It also offers a well-defined target for therapy.

For more information and participation instructions visit: . Participation requires only an Internet connection and a browser.

AbSciCon Cave Session

AbSciCon will be held April 16-20, 2012, in Atlanta, GA. I want to point out that there is a planetary cave session for those interested. The cave session is topic #5 under Extreme Environments.

Information to submit abstracts can be found at:

Abstracts are due: 31 Jan 2012.

5.Session Family: Extreme Environments
Session Title: "Planetary Caves - Implications for Astrobiology,
Climate, Detection and Exploration"
Short title (for abstract submission): "Planetary Caves"

Description: The focus of this session is to promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas between planetary and terrestrial scientists interested in cave exploration and research across the solar system. Extraterrestrial caves provide access to the subsurface without the need for drilling and are potential habitats for previous or present life. In recognition of the broad scope, interdisciplinary nature, and strong international interest in this topic, the participation of any interested scientist with relevant theoretical, experimental, or field experience is strongly encouraged.

Organizer: Timothy Titus,

August 27-31, 2012, Beijing

Conference website:

We are pleased to announce that the abstract submission period has now opened, and we are accepting abstracts for oral and poster presentations. Please visit the abstract submission site at:

Abstract deadline for contributed talks: March 31, 2012

Abstract deadline for posters: July 31, 2012

Note that the early registration deadline is February 29, 2012.

For question and more information contact Nader Haghighipour