• Synthetic Life – a lecture by researcher Martin Hanczyc 27 Novemberhttp://bioartsociety.fi/ml_stage 18:30h

    Posted on November 17th, 2014 eb

    The Finnish Society of Bioart cordially invites to a lecture by researcher Martin Hanczyc and a subsequent discussion with artists and scientists

    November 27th, 18:30h, The House of Science and Letters, room 404, Kirkkokatu 6, Kruunuhaka, Helsinki.

    The work of Martin Hanczyc is focused on understanding the fundamental principles of living and evolving systems through experimental science. To this end, he builds synthetic systems where dynamic life-like properties emerge in simple chemical experiments. He will present an experimental model of synthetic biology: chemically-active oil droplets. This system has the ability to sense, metabolize and the potential to evolve. Specifically, Martin will present how motile droplets may form the basis for intelligent and self-replicating materials.

    Martin Hanczyc is developing novel synthetic chemical systems based on the properties of living systems, in a quest to understand how life forms. These synthetic systems, or “protocells,” are model systems of primitive living cells and chemical examples of artificial life.

    Martin Hanczyc is Principal Investigator at the University of Trento, Italy. He was an Associate Professor at the Institute of Physics and Chemistry at the University of Southern Denmark and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and Chief Chemist at ProtoLife. Martin actively develops outreach for his research by giving several public lectures and collaborating with architects and artists in several exhibitions world wide including the Architecture Biennale in Venice Italy in 2010 to bring experiments out of the lab and into the public space. Martin gave an invited public lecture at TED, and his work was featured on Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.

    Synthetic biology is a new area of biological research that combines science and engineering. Synthetic biology encompasses a variety of different approaches, methodologies and disciplines, with the aim to design and construct new biological functions and systems not found in nature. Most approaches of Synthetic biology are based on genetic engineering. Other approaches are dealing with making novel life-forms from “scratch” like in the case of protocell research of Martin Hancyzk. Synthetic Biology is still in its beginnings but if it reaches its potential promises it will become a highly transformative technology in terms of economy, ecology and ethics.

    The lecture is part of Making_Life, a project by the Finnish Society of Bioart in collaboration with Biofilia – Base for Biological Arts – Aalto University Finland and Bio:Fiction Vienna Austria within the SYNENERGENE EU Project.