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On Protocell "Computation"

Kelly, Ciarán and McMullin, Barry and O'Brien, Darragh (2006) On Protocell "Computation". In: European Conference on Complex Systems (ECCS '06), 25-29 Sept 2006, Oxford, UK.

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The EU FP6 Integrated Project PACE ('Programmable Artificial Cell Evolution') is investigating the creation, de novo, of chemical 'protocells'. These will be minimal 'wetware' chemical systems integrating molecular information carriers, primitive energy conversion (metabolism) and containment (membrane). Ultimately they should be capable of autonomous reproduction, and be 'programmable' to realise specific desired function. A key objective of PACE is to explore the application of such protocell technology to build novel nanoscale computational devices. In principle, such computation might be realised either at the level of an individual protocell or at the level of self-assembling, multi-cellular, aggregates. In the case of the individual protocell level, a form of 'molecular computation' may be possible in the manner of 'cell signalling networks' in modern cells. This might be particularly appropriate where a protocell is deployed to interface directly with molecular systems, such as in 'smart drug' applications. 'Programming' of molecular computation functionality might be realised by evolutionary techniques, i.e., applying selection to polulations of (reproducing) protocells. Reflexive string rewriting systems may provide an appropriate formal model of molecular computation. The behaviour of minimal reflexive string rewriting systems, incorporated in reproducing containers (protocells), is being explored in simulation. This is a basis for possible design of minimal protocell 'computers'.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Event Type:Conference
Uncontrolled Keywords:protocell
Subjects:Biological Sciences > Bioinformatics
Computer Science > Artificial intelligence
Engineering > Artificial life
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Engineering and Computing > School of Electronic Engineering
Research Initiatives and Centres > Research Institute for Networks and Communications Engineering (RINCE)
Published in:Proceedings, ECCS '06. . Complex Systems Society.
Publisher:Complex Systems Society
Official URL:
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
Funders:European Framework Programme 6, Project PACE
ID Code:16742
Deposited On:10 Jan 2012 14:35 by Barry McMullin. Last Modified 04 Nov 2016 14:05

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