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Frankenstein 2.0: Structure + Pattern + Movement = LIFE?

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Part of Cambridge Science Festival 2014. Free & open to all.

Dr Mark Haw (University of Strathclyde) will explore the latest understanding of the processes that define life.

One rainy summer’s evening in 1816, Mary Shelley dreamt of making a living creature from the assembled parts of dead ones. What she understandably glossed over is the physical and chemical ‘magic’ that turns inanimate molecules into living systems: the gap between matter and life.

Because of advances in techniques and understanding over the past 20 years, scientists are now hot on the trail of Frankenstein 2.0: revealing that the secret of life is not just about having the right ingredients in the right places—structure and pattern—but about how these ingredients move, communicate and transform, resulting in a fiendishly complex microscopic physicochemical ‘production line’ keeping cells alive. The science is potentially world-changing, from nanoengineering to medicine and health. But perhaps an even more important question is what it might mean for society and for all our lives: what will be the consequences of updating Mary’s story and creating Frankenstein 2.0?

Suitable for children age 12+

Organised and sponsored by: Society of Chemical Industry & Royal Society of Chemistry

This talk is part of the SCI Cambridge Science Talks series.

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