Continuo a deixar os outros falar por mim:
deFrente: Luis Rocha

But baby, I'll be back.



The synthesis of my non-life

So now I post a "press release" on why I have no life other than organizing this conference...

Integrating artificial life simulation with synthetic biology
200 scientists from 22 countries to attend Informatics-hosted Alife X Conference

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Biologists long have focused their microscopes and attention on how the natural world works. Artificial life, in turn, uses complex computing techniques to better understand, visualize and even mimic life’s processes

Now comes an approach that combines science and engineering in order to design and construct novel biological parts, devices and biological systems for useful purposes. It’s called synthetic biology, and it will be one of the focuses of discussion at the June 3-7 10th International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems conference, better known as Artificial Life X.

The event, sponsored by the Indiana University School of Informatics, brings together some of the world’s leading experts in biology, informatics and other disciplines.

“Synthetic biology emphasizes the technology in biotechnology and it concentrates on the intentional design of real biological systems,” says Luis Rocha, associate professor of informatics, who chairs the conference’s organizing committee. “Its potential uses might one day lead to the reversal of aging and innovative medical treatments such as beneficial bacterial infections programmed to augment immunity. All of this, naturally also raises many bioethical issues that we are interested to discuss in an interdisciplinary setting.”

Two scientists who have pioneered and probed the uses of synthetic biology will discuss their work and challenges in that field at ALife X: Clyde A. Hutchinson III, Distinguished Investigator at the J. Craig Venter Institute and professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of North Carolina; and Norman Packard, chief executive officer of ProtoLife, a Venice, Italy, science and research technology center.

Hutchinson’s work with gene function and DNA sequencing at the Venter Institute teams him with Nobel Laureate Hamilton O. Smith, and Craig Venter, former president of Celera Genomics, a commercial enterprise of the Human Genome Project.

Packard, an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute, is known for his research of artificial life systems and predictive modeling of complex systems.

Another scientist who will be present at the Alife X conference is Antonio Coutinho, a leading immunologist at Portugal’s Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia. He’s been cited as a “Top 250 Most Cited Researcher” by the Information Sciences Institute, a company that specializes in analyzing scientific literature. Coutinho will discuss his immunosomatics theory of the organization of the adaptive immune system.

“An understanding of the principles of organization of adaptive immunity can first be tested via artificial life simulations which may later lead to future medical treatments using synthetic biology technology,” Rocha says.

More than 200 scientists from over 22 countries will be represented at the Alife X conference, which will be held at the Indiana Memorial Union on the IU Bloomington campus.

Artificial life is an emerging informatics-based discipline that models the behavior of biological systems such as evolution, reproduction, growth, disease, learning, socialization and even death. It applies biological principles to produce technology designs for computer hardware and software, robots, spacecraft and aviation, medicine, nanotechnology, industrial fabrication and assembly, and other engineering specialties.

IU and its School of Informatics in Bloomington are home to significant artificial life research and education programs, involving faculty in informatics, computer science, cognitive science, physics and other fields.

Details about Alife X events and speakers can be found at alifex.org.

by Joe Stuteville, Media contact, Indiana University School of Informatics

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