Leslie Orgel

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Dr. Leslie Orgel died Oct. 27 2007 in San Diego.
Dr. Leslie Orgel and wife Alice (Alice Orgel M.D.) lived in La Jolla. Rug Collector since the late 1960s
“Leslie Orgel, An Obsession for Bags” XI/1/44-45
Contributor to Benardout, R. ed. WOVEN STARS. 1996, Catalogue of an exhibition at the 3rd American Conference on Oriental Carpets
Noted for the bon mot “Evolution is cleverer than you are”. that has come to be known as Orgel’s Second Rule.
It is widely reported that Orgel has written that life on earth came from space aliens. I always saw this as a copout since by obscuring the uncaused first cause it covered up the giant flaw in his paradigm. It is tempting to write Orgel off as a nutter what with his space aliens, contributions to Turkotek and his association with Raymond Benardout but I don;t preferring o respect him for his contributions rather than focusing on the questionable parts.
National Academy of Sciences
Fellow of the Royal Society of London
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Leslie Eleazer Orgel was born in London, England, on January 12, 1927. He received his B.A. in chemistry with first class honors from Oxford university in 1949. In 1950 he was elected a Fellow of Magdalen College and in 1951 was awarded his Ph.D in chemistry at Oxford.
Orgel started his career as a theoretical inorganic chemist and continued his studies in this field at Oxford, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago. In 1955 he joined the chemistry department at Cambridge university. There he did work in transition metal chemistry, published articles and wrote a textbook entitled TRANSITION METAL CHEMISTRY: LIGAND FIELD THEORY (1960).
In 1964 Orgel was appointed Senior Fellow and Research Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he directs the Chemical Evolution Laboratory. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and he is one of five principal investigators in the NASA-sponsored NSCORT program in exobiology. Orgel also participated in NASA’s Viking Mars Lander Program as a member of the Molecular Analysis Team that designed the gas chromatography mass spectrometer instrument. Orgel’s work in the Chemical Evolution Laboratory is in nucleotide chemistry and is mainly concerned with non-enzymatic polymerization reactions that depend on the formation of double-helical complexes between a preformed polynucleotide template and one or more complementary mononucleotide or polynucleotide substrates. In the context of chemical evolution, selected templates are employed to facilitate synthesis of complementary RNA sequences. In other work, oligonucleotide sequences are used to direct reactive molecules (warheads) to a complementary target DNA, so as to cleave a crosslink to the target at a predetermined position. Methods for crosslinking transcription factors irreversibly to their DNA recognition sequences are also being developed. His NASA-sponsored research focuses on the catalysis of nucleic acid replication by mineral surfaces.
Orgel wrote THE ORIGINS OF LIFE: MOLECULES AND NATURAL SELECTION (1970) and co-authored, with Stanley Miller, THE ORIGINS OF LIFE ON THE EARTH (1974). He has published over three hundred articles in his research areas.
Orgel’s contributions have been recognized throughout his career. In Britain he was awarded the Harrison Prize in 1957 for his work in inorganic chemistry and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1962. In the United States he received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1971, the Evans Award from Ohio State University in 1975, and the H.C. Urey Medal from the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1990. Leslie Orgel Papers: Background

Leslie E. Orgel, The Origins of Life: Molecules and Natural Selection
Hardcover: 237 pages
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; (March 1973)

Leslie E. Orgel: An Introduction to Transition-Metal Chemistry
The Ligand Field Theory.
Publisher: Methuen, 1966

Leslie Orgel, Biochemist Who Studied Origins of Life, Dies at 80

By JEREMY PEARCE Published: November 5, 2007

Leslie E. Orgel, a biochemist whose studies of early life on primitive Earth helped lead to the formation of a now widely accepted theory about the development of DNA, died Oct. 27 in San Diego. He was 80.

Dr. Orgel had also advanced a novel idea about life’s possible arrival from outer space.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said a spokesman for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, where Dr. Orgel had been on the faculty since 1964.

Dr. Orgel and others began to pose seminal questions about DNA’s biochemical origins in the 1960s, as the molecular structure of DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, was being unraveled and its role as a storehouse of genetic instructions was becoming more widely understood.