Antifragility and tinkering in biology. Flexibility is an efficient epigenetic solution for risk management
Antoine Danchin
EMBO Member, University of Hong Kong and AMAbiotics
Tue, Feb. 19th 2013, 11:00
Salle Claude Itzykson, Bât. 774, Orme des Merisiers
The notion of antifragility, an attribute that allows systems to thrive in an unpredictable world, was recently proposed by Nassim Taleb in the context of financial exchanges. Contrasting reproduction (making a similar copy) with replication (make an identical copy), we show that the management of populations of biological objects similar to each other, but sensitive to the state of the environment, can result in an antifragile behaviour. Centered on the revival of Maxwell's demon, the discussion will be illustrated by the example of natural ageing, as opposed to the inevitable unfolding of senescence and death.
Contact : Francis BERNARDEAU


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