Emergence in Chemical Systems 2.0

June 22-26, 2009
Anchorage, Alaska, USA
University of Alaska Anchorage


The spontaneous increase of complexity, from nucleons to atoms to compounds to cells to organisms to society, is a basic property of nature. It involves the continuous creation of new entities and processes. The subject of this conference is to try to understand this drive to increasing complexity, and to creatively participate in the process.

All Sessions Held in Room SSB 118

Monday, June 22, Constructing Chemical Complexity
Monday 6/22 Speaker Affiliation Title
9:00-9:30 Opening Lecture
Session Leader: David Deamer
9:30-10:20G.J. WasserburgCaltech Chemical Evolution of the Juvenile Universe: A New Paradigm? Phenomenological Approaches That Expose Unrecognized Processes
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-11:50 Michael SimakovGroup of Exobiology, Russian Academy of Sciences The Rise of Chemical Complexity Under Harsh Space Conditions. The Role of Energy Sources in Chemical Evolution
12:00-1:00 Lunch Break
1:00-1:50 Sandra PizzarelloArizona State Cosmochemical Evolution and the Yielding of Biomolecule Precursors
2:00-2:30 Coffee Break
2:30-3:20 Pierre-Alain MonnardCenter for Fundamental Living Technology, Denmark Non-enzymatic Polymerication of RNA on Ice
3:30-7:00 Social Event - Visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center and Dinner for all Participants (guests included). Bus departs lobby of the Social Sciences Building at 3:30 and arrives at 4 PM for a village tour, visit of the Cultural Center or view Alaska Native films, buffet and bar, and Alaska Native dance performance. Return to UAA at 7 PM. A van will also be available at 3:15 from West Hall (housing) and will make a stop at the Social Sciences building at 3:30.

Tuesday, June 23, Transition From Non-Living to Living Matter
Tuesday 6/23 Speaker Affiliation Title
Session Leader: Sandra Pizzarello
8:40-9:30David DeamerUniversity of California Santa Cruz First Life, and Next Life: The Origins and Synthesis of Living Cells
9:40-10:00 Coffee Break
10:00-10:50 Steen RasmussenUniversity of Southern Denmark Assembly of Minimal Living System
11:00-11:50 Nick HudGeorgia Tech An Integrated Approach to Connecting the Small Molecule World and the Polymer World in the Origin of Life
12:00-1:00 Lunch Break
Session Leader: Steen Rasmussen
1:00-1:50 Alexander UmantsevFayetteville State Structure and Functions of a Protobiont
2:00-2:50 Robert Root-BernsteinMichigan State University Molecular Complementarity as a Selective Agent in the Transition from Chemical to Biochemical Ecologies
3:00-3:20 Coffee Break
3:20-4:10 Janet SiefertRice University Building a Genome: From the RNA World to Now
Tuesday, June 23, Poster Session I at 7 PM
Click for List of Posters. The same poster session will repeat Wednesday evening.

Wednesday, June 24, Complex Networks of Physical Processes in Chemical and Biological Systems
Controlling Networks of Chemical and Physical Processes
Wednesday 6/24 Speaker Affiliation Title
Session Leader: Rebecca Schulman
9:00-9:50Martin FeinbergOhio State University Stability and Instability in Complex Reaction Networks: The Big Picture
10:00-10:50 Andrew PohorilleNASA Emergence of Complexity in Protein Functions and Metabolic Networks
11:00-11:20 Coffee Break
11:20-11:50 Gonen AshkenasyBen Gurion University of the Negev The Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Self-Organized Peptide Networks
11:55-12:45 Jennifer DunneSanta Fe Institute The Robustness of Ecological Networks to Species Loss: The Role of Topological Constraints for Secondary Extinctions and Community Collapse
12:55-1:55 Lunch Break
Session Leader: Jennifer Dunne
1:55-2:45 Attila Csikasz-NagyMicrosoft Research, University of Trento, Italy Dynamics of Cell Cycle Transitions: Role of Feedback and Feed-Forward Loops in Ensuring Proper Timing and Irreversibility in the Initiation of Cell Cycle Events
2:55-3:45 Robert HazenGeophysical Laboratory, Washington DC How geochemical complexity promotes chemical evolution
3:55-4:15 Coffee Break
4:15-4:45 Jerzy MaselkoUniversity of Alaska Anchorage Different Reactions in Different Places at Different Times
Wednesday, June 24, Poster Session II at 7 PM
Click for List of Posters.

Thursday, June 25, What Chemical Systems Can Do
Thursday 6/25 Speaker Affiliation Title
9:00-9:10 Introduction by Session Leader: Milan Stojanovic
9:10-9:40Chengde MaoPurdue University Combinatorial Approach for DNA Self-Assembly
9:45-10:15 Peng YinCaltech Programming biomolecular self-assembly pathways
10:20-10:40 Coffee Break
10:40-11:10 Rebecca SchulmanCaltech Self-Replication and Evolution of Designed DNA Tile Crystals: Replication with low error rates, and prospects for complex Darwinian evolution in a chemical system
11:15-11:45Eric WinfreeCaltech Molecular Programming with DNA
11:50-12:20 Milan StojanovicColumbia University Molecular Computing and Robotics
12:25-1:10 Lunch Break
Session Leader: Jim Pantaleone
1:10-2:00 Luca CardelliMicrosoft Research, Cambridge UK Molecules as Automata
2:10-2:40 Marc RiedelUniversity of Minnesota Synthesizing Discrete Signal Processing Operations with Biochemistry
2:45-3:15 Kobi BenensonHarvard University Implantable Biocomputers: From Fiction to Science
3:20-3:40 Coffee Break
3:40-4:10 Michael DiehlRice University Emergent Properties of Macromolecular Systems Containing Multiple Molecular motors
4:15-4:45 Ray KapralUniversity of Toronto Synthetic Self-Propelled Nanomotors

Friday, June 26, Continued: What Chemical Systems Can Do
Friday 6/26 Speaker Affiliation Title
Session Leader: Renate Wackerbauer
8:40-9:10 Jim PantaleoneUniversity of Alaska Anchorage Oscillatory Motion in Precipitation Structures
9:15-9:45 Julia YeomansThe Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, Oxford UK Hydrodynamic Interactions Between Microswimmers
9:50-10:20 Igor AronsonArgonne National Lab Self-Assembled Magnetic Surface Swimmers
10:25-10:45 Coffee Break
10:45-11:15Irving EpsteinBrandeis University Cooperative Behavior of Nano- and Micro-oscillators
11:20-12:10 Kenneth ShowalterUniversity of West Virginia Synchronization and Dynamical Quorum Sensing in Populations of Excitable and Oscillatory Particles
12:20-12:50 John HudsonUniversity of Virginia Engineering Complex Dynamical Structures in Populations of Chemical oscillators
12:55-1:40 Lunch Break
Session Leader: Ray Kapral
1:40-2:10 Anna BalazsUniversity of Pittsburgh Modeling Self-Oscillating Polymer Gels
2:15-2:45 Harry SwinneyUniversity of Texas Deadly Competition Between Sibling Bacterial Colonies
2:50-3:20 Ting LuPrinceton University Self-Emergent Pattern Formation in a Synthetic Bacterial Population
3:25-3:40 Coffee Break
3:45-4:15 Renate WackerbauerUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks Transient Spatio-temporal Chaos
4:20-4:50 Oliver SteinbockFlorida State University Scroll Wave Pinning in Three-Dimensional Excitable Media

Friday, June 26, Closing Banquet - Keynote Speaker - Larry Merculieff, Seven Generations Consulting, 6 PM, Consortium Library Room 307
Saturday, June 27, Trip to Calving Glaciers
We are organizing a trip to Prince William Sound. See: http://www.princewilliamsound.com.

The cost, including transportation to Whittier, is about $150. We will depart for the Whittier Glacier Cruise from West Hall at 8:00 AM on Saturday, June 27. The cruise begins at 11 AM. We will return to Anchorage at approximately 7 PM.

For more adventures, such as glacier landings, glacier tours, or sea kayaking, see the after-conference activities.

Organizing Committee

Jerzy Maselko, University of Alaska Anchorage
Committee Members

Anna Balazs, University of Pittsburgh
Renate Wackerbauer, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Cheryl Wright, University of Alaska, Anchorage
Milan Stojanovic, Columbia University
Jim Pantaleone, University of Alaska Anchorage
Kenrick Mock, University of Alaska, Anchorage

Financial Supporters