Fellows' Presentation

Systems of Creation: The Emergence of Life from Nonliving Matter

Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo

Part of the 2011–2012 Fellows Presentation Series.

During his Radcliffe fellowship, Stephen Mann will explore the notion of a “universal biology,” which attempts to delineate the common irreducible factors that define living matter without recourse to a detailed description of its myriad components and mechanisms. The work will study pathways plausibly responsible for the emergence of life from nonliving matter, using an integrative systems approach to cellular autonomy with special attention placed on life as a nanoscale phenomenon. Critical features of the underlying organizational logic will be addressed by experimental studies focused on the biomimetic engineering of protocell models and semisynthetic cells.