People and institutions

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Scientific Collaborations: Philosophy of Science Meets Scientific Practice

The project conducts strategic empirical case studies at selected leading biology laboratories around the world. The emphasis is on the identification, examination and philosophical analysis of scientific projects that are likely to extend and disrupt the notion of life. The labs correspond to key areas of research relating to synthetic biology and astrobiology: unnatural biological parts, biological organization, synthetic life, evolution, and habitability.

  • FfAME, USABenner Lab (Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution)

    The Benner group is a pioneer in synthetic biology, combinatorial chemistry and paleomolecular biology. The case study focuses on their work on organic synthesis to prepare artificial and expanded genetic systems.

  • Caltech, USA & UPF, BarcelonaElowitz Lab & Ojalvo Lab

    The Elowitz lab is one of the leading labs in the study of genetic circuits. It has collaborative ties with the Ojalvo lab that studies the dynamic nonlinear interactions between system components in biological systems at various levels of organization.

  • Caltech, USAMatt Thomson Lab

    Matt Thomson Lab (Caltech, USA) focuses on biological engineering and developmental biology and genetics through computational and synthetic biology methods. The case study focuses on their work on ‘possible’ cells.

  • University of ZürichWagner Lab

    Wagner Lab (University of Zürich) studies evolutionary innovations in metabolism, regulatory circuits, and macromolecules and the evolution of biological networks forming the bridge between genotype and phenotype. The case study focuses on the search for deeper principles of evolutionary innovation

  • University of BernCenter for Space and Habitability

    Center for Space and Habitability (CSH, University of Bern). CSH is a multidisciplinary research center announcing as its mission the study of “the formation, detection and characterization of other worlds, the definition of life and our search for it elsewhere in the universe”.