Bray´s talk highlights

Bray300Dennis Bray started the first talk of the symposium by reflecting on a fundamental question in computational biology: do we have the right tools nowadays to model extremely complex systems, such as the human brain? Bray gave his own perspective view on that issue based on his working experience with the “simplest form of cell behavior”: chemotaxis in E. coli. In such protein networks, but not in silicon devices, connections can occur over long distances because of free diffusion of components, so in principal any component can influence any other. The elements of these networks are also highly flexible and capable of essentially infinite modifications in both activity and connection. Also, the networks undergo continual stochastic change, and variants with improved performance are selected. None of this occurs with for example microchips. With that, Bray left the question open: “I don´t know how far we can get with the existing approaches…”

 

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