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Reconstructing Evolution: A Molecular Time Machine

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Date and time
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

**Dr. Betül Kacar** discusses the young field of paleogenomics and how researchers are able to unravel the genetic evolution of modern organisms. The value of this work is important not only for establishing an accurate biography of Earth's organisms; paleogenomics is of interest in the search for life elsewhere in the universe. (Image: [Flickr/Vector Open Stock](https://www.flickr.com/photos/freevectorstock/14565772169/in/photostream/ "Flickr Evolution"), image cropped)

**Betül Kacar** is an astrobiologist from Istanbul. She is a Resarch Project Leader at Harvard's Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, where she resurrects inferred ancestral genes in the laboratory and engineers them inside modern genomes. Prior to that, she was a Postdoc with NASA's Astrobiology Institute, where she designed a bacterial system combining paleogenetics with laboratory evolution. Dr. Kacar is a recipient of research grants from NASA and The John Templeton Foundation, and is a co-founder of SAGANet: The Online Astrobiology Grassroots Network, designed to promote mentorship and outreach activities in science, engineering and related fields.