Chris Gordon-Smith 24th September 2014

On Wednesday 24th September, Chris Gordon-Smith, from the SimSoup project, will give the talk

“Molecules Designed for Chemical Network Memory and Non-Genetic Inheritance”

Please note the temporary change of venue.

Nuffield Theatre (Building 6) Room 1081 (Nuffield Room B), Highfield Campus, 4pm. All welcome. Refreshments served after the talk.


In this talk I will present a memory system based on an artificial chemistry. This is relevant as a ‘proof of concept’ for metabolism based Origin of Life theories, and in the field of biological and chemical computing. Each memory unit can be switched between three alternative active states. A unit maintains itself in a particular state using an autocatalytic reaction process. Switching between states occurs when an external stimulus triggers the autocatalytic process for the new state, along with an associated process that inhibits autocatalytic activity for the old state. I will show artificial molecular species with structures that support the autocatalytic and inhibiting processes. I will also present results from the SimSoup artificial chemistry simulator showing the operation of a 5-unit memory system with 243 alternative states (equivalent to just under 8 bits of memory). The design supports systems with more units, but computational requirements to run the simulator increase substantially. I will conclude the talk with a short review of some alternative network architectures for chemical memory and inheritance.