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Tuesday, January 16, 2018
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Sufficient physical conditions for self-replication

Sumantra Sarkar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

A “self-replicator” is usually understood to be an object of definite form that promotes the conversion of materials in its environment into a nearly identical copy of itself. The challenge of engineering novel, micro- or nano-scale self-replicators has attracted keen interest in recent years, both because exponential amplification is an attractive method for generating high yields of specific products, and also because self-reproducing entities have the potential to be optimized or adapted through rounds of iterative selection. At present, however, it is an open question what the sufficient physical conditions are for novel self-replicating structures to emerge from a reservoir of building blocks on a desired time-scale. In this talk I'll report progress in addressing this question.

Host: Angel Garcia