Complexity, computation, and the organization of life
How life first emerged is one of the biggest mysteries in science. Solving this mystery requires not only subject matter expertise, but formulating and addressing questions that live outside disciplinary boundaries. Is biology governed by general principles? Are life and the geosphere inextricable? How can living and non-living processes be distinguished? The answers to these questions have implications that stretch from planetary exploration strategy to cancer research. By employing computational techniques from systems biology and complexity science, my research has begun to quantify regularities across biology, and identify measures which uniquely distinguish living processes. I will describe this work, as well as ways in which my future research will integrate the ELSI community to address these important big picture questions.