Biological Computation

In biological computation there are usually three ways to explain biological phenomena as computational concerns. These are: theoretical computing models (in info), descriptions, and experimental observations and simulations. Several examples in the literature about biological computation include bacteria colonies [18]; gene assembly in ciliates [19]; bio-chemical reactions [20]; protein-protein interaction networks, bio-chemical networks, and transport networks [21]; information diffusion in the endocrine system; defense adaptation and coordination in the immune system [22]; information processing in swarm insects [23] and evolution as computation [24].

In order to make the concept of biological computation possible M. Mitchell [17] asks four questions. They concern how is information represented in the system, how information is read and written by the system, how it is processed, and how this information acquires function (or “purpose” or “meaning”), and studies comparisons among various kinds of computation and what life does, computationally speaking.


17. Mitchel, M.: Biological Computation. Comput. J. 55, 852--855 (2012)

18. Ben-Jacob, E.: Learning from Bacteria about Natural Information Processing. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1178, 78--90 (2009)

19. Brijder, R., Daley, M., Harju, T., Jonoska, N., Petre, I., Rozenberg, G.: Computational Nature of Gene Assembly in Ciliates. In: Rozenberg, G., Bäck, T., Kok, J.N. (eds.) Handbook of Natural Computing, pp. 1233--1280. Springer, Berlin (2012)

20. Ehrenfeucht, A., Rozenberg, G.: Reaction Systems: a Model of Computation Inspired by Biochemistry. In Gao, Y., Lu, H., Seki, S., Yu, S. (eds.) Developments in Language Theory, pp 1--3. Springer, Berlin (2010)

21. Kari, L., Rozenberg, G.: The Many Facets of Natural Computing. Commun. ACM 51, 72-- 83 (2008)

22. Dasgupta, D., Niño, L.F.: Immunological Computation. CRC Press, Boca Raton (2009)

23. Detrain, C., Deneubourg, J.L., Pasteels, J.M.: Information Processing in Social Insects. Birkhäuser, Basel (2001)

24. Maynard-Smith, J., Szathmáry, E.: The Major Transitions in Evolution. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1995)

-- Carlos Eduardo Maldonado , Nelson Alfonso Gomez-Cruz

from "Biological Hypercomputation: A Concept is Introduced"

Quoted on Thu Oct 18th, 2012