Time+Place: Tuesday 20/10/2015 14:30 Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
Title: When Physics Met Information - a Model for the Emergence of Coded Life
Speaker: Tal Mor - COLLOQUIUM LECTURE http://www.cs.technion.ac.il/people/talmo/
Affiliation: Computer Science Dept., Technion


I shall present here a possible scenario for the emergence
of coded life in nature. Our model merges computer science and
information concepts with prebiotic chemistry.

In this model, sets of strings composed of letters, such
that each letter represents a molecular building block, are located
within compartments. Some of the sets of strings (together with their
reactions) form "autocatalytic sets". Some of the strings in the
autocatalytic sets play the role of catalysts of reactions and others
play the role of templates for replication processes. Several
autocatalytic sets are presented, that evolve without leading to the
formation of a code.

However, a unique set of strings, comprised of two types
of letters (representing nucleotides and amino acids), with
some inherent asymmetry in their properties, is found to prompt the
emergence and the fixation of a code. By identifying "code prompting"
autocatalytic sets, our abstract model suggests a possible explanation
for the emergence of the genetic code in life as we know it.

This work is the result of a collaboration with Ilana Agmon and
partially also with Yuval Elias.

No background (in physics or in chemistry or in biology) is required.

Short Bio:
Tal Mor is a Professor at CS-Technion. He did his MSc in Yakir
Aharonov's group in Tel Aviv, and completed his PhD in 1997 at the
Technion supervised by Asher Peres and Eli Biham. He then had postdoc
positions in University of Montreal and UCLA.

Tal has published more than sixty papers in journals and
conferences, and supervised more than ten graduate students.
He invented several protocols and several attacks on quantum
cryptography, and he also invented "algorithmic cooling" of spins, as
a method for potentially obtaining scalable quantum computers and for
improving signal to noise ratios in MRI.

Desserts will be served from 14:15
Lecture starts at 14:30