It has been a while since I’ve posted and apologize for leaving the prior subject mid-thread. I’ve become extraordinarily busy with a new company, but will revert to research mode and follow-up once things settle down.
In the mean time, one of my long-term side interests has been biological systems. These are interesting because are probably most complex systems we can study. Our understanding of specific cells and interactions has grown enormously within a century, but we’re still only scratching the surface given crude measurement tools and the mind boggling complexity. Computational biology provides a simulation based approach to studying these problems, and hence is of particular interest to me.
Some “holy grails” that have interested me:
- creation of artificial lifeforms to “prove” that life is nothing more than a system (done: Craig Venter’s team)
- mapping of neural structures into simulation
- creation of alternative chemistry’s / energy / replicating processes
Here is an article I just found of a researcher in the UK that is having some success with creating structures and processes based on metal salts as an alternative to carbon forms: Life cells made of metal. It seems like they have been able to create cell-like structures and may be close to a means of generating energy for the entity via photosynthesis. Whether this is a fruitful or not, remains to be seen.