Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
In this lecture, Gerald Joyce focuses on the perpetuation of genetic information as a defining characteristic of life. He draws a connection between digital computers (von Neumann machines), especially those with the capacity to self-reproduce, and molecular Darwinian systems that maintain heritable ‘bits’ of information, which are refined through evolution. Such molecular machines have been constructed in the laboratory and are able to reproduce themselves indefinitely.