27 Nov 2014
The House of Science and Letters, Helsinki, Finland
The lecture was 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.
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. In his lecture, “Synthetic Life”, he presented an experimental model of synthetic biology: chemically-active oil droplets. This system has the ability to sense, metabolize and the potential to evolve. Such novel synthetic systems, or "protocells," are model systems of primitive living cells and chemical examples of artificial life. A subsequent discussion took place with artists and scientists.
Martin Hanczyc is Principal Investigator at the University of Trento, Italy. With a background in biology and genetics, he has published in specialized journals in the areas of protocells, complex systems, evolution and the origin of life. He actively develops outreach for his research by giving public lectures and collaborating with architects and artists world-wide to bring experiments out of the lab and into the public space.