Paper: “Closure to efficient causation, computability and artificial life”

I missed the publication of this last month. The abstract [1]: The major insight in Robert Rosen’s view of a living organism as an (M,R)-system was the realization that an organism must be “closed to efficient causation”, which means that the catalysts needed for its operation must be generated internally. … Continue reading

Systems Biology, Holism and Reductionism

A new paper, “So what do we really mean when we say that systems biology is holistic?” [1] discusses the relationship between holism, reductionism and systems biology. Although the author does provide a historical overview of various interpretations of ‘holism’ and ‘reductionism’, the end result remains: a lack of clarity, … Continue reading

Stokesian jellyfish: Viscous locomotion of bilayer vesicles

From arXiv, a paper entitled “Stokesian jellyfish: Viscous locomotion of bilayer vesicles” [1] that I think Rashevsky would have approved of. The abstract: Motivated by recent advances in vesicle engineering, we consider theoretically the locomotion of shape-changing bilayer vesicles at low Reynolds number. By modulating their volume and membrane composition, … Continue reading

DARPA’s BioDesign plan

From Popular Science and Wired, DARPA is budgeting six million dollars on a rather frightening program called “BioDesign” [1]: BioDesign is a new intellectual approach to biological functionality. The intrinsic concept is that by using gained knowledge of biological processes in combination with biotechnology and synthetic chemical technology, humans can … Continue reading