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Seminar (SS 2009)
What is Life?
Systems biology seeks to explain biological functions in terms of the organization between components at multiple temporal and spatial scales. This raises questions about the general organizational principles of living systems, and their origins. In order to understand these principles, it is informative to look at the major transitions in evolution that have transformed life from the first replicating molecules to modern multicellular organisms.
Mathematical and computational modelling is essential in finding the key principles of the emergence and dynamical coupling of levels of organization. In this seminar, we explore the mechanisms involved in the origin of life, the emergence of multicellularity, and the evolution of development. By means of talks, discussions and computer simulations, key questions and models will be introduced.
The seminar is intended for undergraduate and graduate students in biology, physics, mathematics, medical and computer sciences who are interested in this highly interdisciplinary field.
(to download lecture material and papers please proceed here)