Biological computation

We are exploring how to create new forms of multicellular computation and how to build a complex biological computer. By evolving bio-inspired hardware and software, we also search for robust solutions to complex problems.
See our paper on Distributed biological computation.

Synthetic biology and Artificial Life

We use artificial life and synthetic biology approaches to explore questions related to information, multicellularity, collective intelligence and ecology as well as biomedical applications.
See our paper on The space of biocomputation.

Theoretical network evolution

We are developing theoretical models of network evolution, with special interest in the open-ended nature of complexity, its hierarchical organization and the presence of catastrophes and breakpoints in large-scale dynamics.
See our paper on Origins of hierarchy in networks, PNAS.

Cognitive networks

We study the architecture and evolution of language and brain networks. Our goal is to develop theoretical models of language emergence and change and explain the origins of their complexity.
See our paper on Language networks.

Technological evolution

Both technology and biology share a number of relevant traits. Our Lab explores the similarities and differences between them, with special attention to the origins of innovation and the physics of the underlying landscapes.
See our paper on Technological innovation.

Unstable evolutionary dynamics

Both cancer populations and RNA viruses display high levels of genetic instability. We study how this unstable state contributes to adaptation and, perhaps, to new forms of therapy based on the presence of lethal thresholds.

Latest News

Our 2013 Christmas Lectures: 19 de Desembre, Ciència al Nadal

Aquest any l’Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (IBE) organitza, en col·laboració amb el CCCB, ICREA i amb el suport de la Fundación Botín, la primera edició de Ciència al Nadal, on escoltarem dos científics que ens parlaran de la seva recerca als mateixos límits de la neurociència, la realitat virtual i la medicina regenerativa. Les xerrades es faran a l’auditori del Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB), i van dirigides a un públic general. L’esperit de Ciència al Nadal és la divulgació de la ciència més avançada i contribuir a apropar aquesta ciència i els reptes que implica per a una societat que s’enfronta als nous reptes del segle XXI.

More information here.

New CSL paper in PNAS: On the origins of hierarchy in complex networks

In this paper we have studied the hierarchical space of complex networks by defining three axes that allow characterizing the degree and type of hierarchy. The study considers a large variety of webs: technological, ecological, cellular, linguistic and cognitive, among others. We found that most hierarchical organization seems to be a byproduct of random growth: without using selection nor design, just random webs, the observed hierarchical structure can be explained in terms of order “for free”. Large voids in the hierarchical morphospace are also found, and an their nature is analyzed using an evolutionary search algorithm.

Available here.

See our paper in Investigación y Ciencia: Lenguaje, Redes y Evolución

El estudio de la conectividad y organización estructural de las redes lingüísticas permite explicar numerosos fenómenos, como la polisemia (en apariencia ineficiente, pues introduce ambigüedad) o la organización en categorías semánticas. Investigaciones recientes sobre la emergencia de la sintaxis en el niño, robots o sobre la capacidad informativa del lenguaje han permitido abordar de manera novedosa el problema de los orígenes del lenguaje.

See our paper here.