John S. McCaskill

  • Artificial Life VII

    Artificial Life VII

    Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Artificial Life

    Mark A. Bedau, John S. McCaskill, Norman H. Packard, and Steen Rasmussen

    The term "artificial life" describes research into synthetic systems that possess some of the essential properties of life. This interdisciplinary field includes biologists, computer scientists, physicists, chemists, geneticists, and others. Artificial life may be viewed as an attempt to understand high-level behavior from low-level rules—for example, how the simple interactions between ants and their environment lead to complex trail-following behavior. An understanding of such relationships in particular systems can suggest novel solutions to complex real-world problems such as disease prevention, stock-market prediction, and data mining on the Internet.

    Since their inception in 1987, the Artificial Life meetings have grown from small workshops to truly international conferences, reflecting the field's increasing appeal to researchers in all areas of science.

    • Paperback $90.00 £70.00


  • Protocells


    Bridging Nonliving and Living Matter

    Steen Rasmussen, Mark A. Bedau, Liaohai Chen, David Deamer, David C. Krakauer, Norman H. Packard, and Peter F. Stadler

    The first comprehensive general resource on state-of-the-art protocell research, describing current approaches to making new forms of life from scratch in the laboratory.

    Protocells offers a comprehensive resource on current attempts to create simple forms of life from scratch in the laboratory. These minimal versions of cells, known as protocells, are entities with lifelike properties created from nonliving materials, and the book provides in-depth investigations of processes at the interface between nonliving and living matter. Chapters by experts in the field put this state-of-the-art research in the context of theory, laboratory work, and computer simulations on the components and properties of protocells. The book also provides perspectives on research in related areas and such broader societal issues as commercial applications and ethical considerations. The book covers all major scientific approaches to creating minimal life, both in the laboratory and in simulation. It emphasizes the bottom-up view of physicists, chemists, and material scientists but also includes the molecular biologists' top-down approach and the origin-of-life perspective. The capacity to engineer living technology could have an enormous socioeconomic impact and could bring both good and ill. Protocells promises to be the essential reference for research on bottom-up assembly of life and living technology for years to come. It is written to be both resource and inspiration for scientists working in this exciting and important field and a definitive text for the interested layman.

    • Hardcover $16.75 £13.99