Every form of living matter relies on information processing to actively avoid thermodynamic equilibration. As a consequence, organisms exhibit an intriguing sophistication in overcoming computationally difficult challenges. Moreover, they do so with enviable efficiency and integration density. Key to information processing in organisms is the use of molecular components that interact autonomously according to their specific physicochemical properties. This contrasts sharply with the implementation of conventional computing devices in which engineered constraints enforce adherence to a formalism chosen independently from its material implementation. To fully realize the potential of molecules in computation, information processing concepts that relinquish narrow prescriptive control over elementary structures and functions are needed, and self-organising architectures have to be developed.
This presentation will outline the current state of molecular information technology and dicuss potential applications.
Klaus-Peter Zauner is a Lecturer in the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at Southampton University, U.K. He combines a background in Biochemistry (U. of Tuebingen) with a MS and PhD in Computer Science from Wayne State University, Detroit where he worked under the supervision of Michael Conrad. He served as an elected member on the Governing Board of the International Society of Molecular Electronics and BioComputing and is an Editorial Board Member of the International Journal of Unconventional Computing. A particular aim of his research is the development of artifical molecular computing devices at the borderline between animate and inanimate matter.