Ricard Solé (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and SFI External Professor)
Abstract: How computation emerges and evolves, how multicellular life forms appeared in our biosphere or how robust behavior coevolved with cellular architecture are key questions concerning complexity in biology. These questions have been theoretically addressed and some tentative answers have emerged. But a new approach has come from the wet lab: synthetic biology. Using genetic engineering techniques, it is possible to build and manipulate molecules and cells and create new living structures by combining pieces of different origins. We will summarize some recent advances within the field of cellular computation and speculate about ongoing experiments on synthetic multicellularity.