Life and living systems (LS) constitute the most complex class of natural phenomena that we know on Earth and, at least for now, in the Universe. Their functioning involves thousands of biochemical reactions and processes, all working at many different temporal and spatial scales. When it comes to understand Life and its properties, the traditional approach is to start from details and work from there to a full understanding of the complete system, i.e. a bottom-up process. In this talk we will discuss a completely different, but complementary, (top-down) approach. Starting from basic principles (directly derived from properties common to all living systems), we propose a simple mathematical model that is able to reproduce the fundamental features of life. Using extensive computer simulations of this model we are able to compute and measure macroscopic properties that can be compared with general features, including in the cell division cycle, of extant living systems.
Visiting Scholar - Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences (Juan Perez-Mercader Group)