For Session 4 of TED2020, experts in biohacking, synthetic biology, psychology and beyond explored topics ranging from discovering the relationship between the spinal cord and asparagus to using tools of science to answer critical questions about racial bias. Below, a recap of the night’s talks and performances. Andrew Pelling, biomedical researcher Big idea: Could we […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
With a lifelong interest in the physical manifestations of intelligence, Michael Levin bridges two worlds: biology and computer science. Seeking to understand how cells build and repair complex bodies, he earned his PhD in genetics for illuminating the bioelectrical language that all cells -- not just neurons -- use to coordinate their activities.
In 2016, Levin focused on cracking the morphogenetic code: controlling biological shape by manipulating the bioelectrical software that runs on genome-specified cellular hardware. His group works to understand computation in cells and tissues. In 2021, Levin and his collaborators published "A cellular platform for the development of synthetic living machines," which details the generation of xenobots -- the first-ever biological robots -- and the various practical applications of writable molecular memory.