artificial life

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Tag archives for artificial life

There is an interesting and very thoughtful piece by Craig Venter and Daniel Gibson in today’s Wall Street Journal going through what their breakthrough is and what it isn’t, where they see the project going in the future, and why public discussion is important: [Previous genetic engineers] did not create life in a test tube,…

The J. Craig Venter Institute has just announced the creation of the first bacterial cell controlled by a genome that is entirely chemically synthesized (PDF). The group has been working towards this goal for several years now, first working out how to synthesize and assemble such large pieces of DNA and how to transplant a…

I’ve written before about artificial life researchers from the 18th and 20th centuries working to create robots that attempt to recreate the human voice. I recently saw this terrifying video over at the PopSci blog of a recent robotic voice machine and wanted to share it: Over at Noise For Airports, Nick shares a very…

The Game of Life, On Life

Light interacts with and controls biological systems in diverse and fascinating ways. Our eyes are made up of thousands of cells that respond to light, sending signals to our brain as light in different colors and shapes moves across them. Photosynthetic cells are full of receptors that can sense and respond to many wavelengths of…

Flesh Eating Robots

Because of my recent interest in autonomous, biologically inspired robots, my friend Tami sent me some fascinating links about designs and concepts for future flesh eating robots. From New Scientist, furniture that captures vermin and uses the biomass to power fuel cells that run small electronics: From Wired, Human corpse powered robots being developed by…

Tiny Cyborgs

Synthetic biology deliberately equates genetic networks to electronic circuits, cells to machines, organisms to factories. In synthetic biology, every living can be thought of as a cyborg, a living machine that can be manipulated, changed to meet our needs, parts swapped in and out like a computer. Some projects in synthetic biology and biologically inspired…

Synthetic Voices

Modern day biological engineering and artificial life research focuses on the microscopic, the molecular, the informational, the stuff of the scientific revolutions of the past one hundred years. Our current synthetic biologies aim to turn the living into the designed, the wet into the computational, the complex into the understandable. In the 1700’s, the interplay…

The Game of Life in 3D

I just saw this neat blog post about Conway’s Game of Life projected into three dimensions. You can download the script and play around with it yourself!

The Logo Turtle

My first exposure to programming was as a nerdy elementary schooler playing with Logo, a simple computer language written for educational use as a way to teach basic concepts in programming and computer science. The language controls the behavior of the “turtle,” a triangular cursor in the middle of the screen that can be programmed…