Call for applications for a temporary research fellowship: Self-on-a-Chip

A public call for applications is issued for the award of 1 temporary research fellowship for research activities within the “Self-on-Chip: A Study of Embodiment in Innovative 3D Cell-Culture Models” project (April 2016 – April 2017).

Deadline for applications: August 30, 2016

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In Silico Modeling: the Human Factor

HumanaMente_Issue30_Cover3Marta Bertolaso and Miles MacLeod are editors of Issue 30 (April 2016) of Humana.Mente — Journal of Philosophical Studies, entitled “In Silico Modeling: the Human Factor”. The issue reflects on the human dimensions inherent to bio-medical and social applications of in silico modelling, as well as on general issues pertaining the relationship between in silico modelling technologies and the human factor (HF). In fact, the challenges related to in silico modeling ask for a reflection on the intrinsic relationship among new technologies, which allow us to manage big data and to model biological functions, and the HF in bio-medical practice. Continue reading In Silico Modeling: the Human Factor

Self-on-a-Chip: A Study of Embodiment in Innovative 3D Cell-Culture Models

Conceptual_Schematic_of_a_Human-on-a-ChipA science-philosophy research project funded by the Institute for Philosophy of Scientific and Technological Practice (FAST) at University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome.

Start: April 2016

Duration: 1+1 years Continue reading Self-on-a-Chip: A Study of Embodiment in Innovative 3D Cell-Culture Models

Robustness in Neurological Systems

robust1UPAn Interdisciplinary Workshop held on 2015, November 13-15 at the University of Pittsburgh. The brain is the poster child for plasticity in biology. Neurons and networks constantly rebuild themselves in response to the continual and ongoing change in component ion channels and receptors that are necessary for neuronal signaling.  In addition external changes drive homeostatic responses.  These are way in which robust responses can be triggered.  Recent modeling and experimental work have described the mechanisms, constraints, and outcomes of robust dynamics in the brain.  This workshop is designed to maximize productive interaction in large and small groups among scientists and philosophers.  Such engagement can “test” and refine philosophical analyses of robustness as in current scientific practice. At the same time, scientists can reflect on their practices with the tools that philosophers bring to the discussion. Continue reading Robustness in Neurological Systems

In silico Medicine Workshop

Barcelona, June 3, 2015, h 13:30-18:30.

In silico modeling promises to overcome the limitations of the in vitro and in vivo experimental models used to represent human biological systems, but also the limits on our cognitive capacities to store, analyze and represent the enormous amount of information needed to reliably and accurately capture system complexity and variability. The Avicenna project, a leading group for in silico clinical trials, will hold its 5th meeting in Barcelona on 4th – 5th June 2015. Taking this opportunity, our workshop – organized by Bio-Techno-Practice network in collaboration with IESE – will reflect on the philosophical foundations of in silico modeling and on the various implications of its biomedical applications: drugs, devices, and clinical trials.

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Bio-Techno-Logos: The Future of Scientific Practice

Future of scientific practiceThe Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’ ed. by Marta Bertolaso is an early book-length product of the network that resulted into the Bio-Techno-Practice hub.

The collection makes a strong contribution to current debates in the philosophy of science and the changing role of scientific practice. The book explores the interplay between biological, technological and theoretical ways of thinking by focusing on cell dynamics, molecular medicine and robotics. The direction of modern science means that these areas can no longer be explored independently but must be integrated if we are to better understand the world. Continue reading Bio-Techno-Logos: The Future of Scientific Practice

Robustness – Engineering Science

Stickybot: a gecko-inspired robot. source: Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Labtory, Stanford University.
Stickybot: a gecko-inspired robot. source: Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Labtory, Stanford University.

This Interdisciplinary Workshop was held at University Campus Bio-Medico in Rome, February 5-6, 2015. Is it possible to obtain robustness artificially, or is it a natural property (i.e., is non-living systems robustness distinct from organismic robustness)? Which synthetic models may be inspired by the concept of robustness? In biological systems, robustness comes across different scales, from molecular to plant size and involves change and development aspects, thus becoming a pillar in their dynamics (see the previous Interdisciplinary Workshop on Robustness). What is the definition of robustness in engineering? Which application for the concept of robustness? What technologies does robustness inspire? Continue reading Robustness – Engineering Science

Robustness in Biological Systems

15531726881_d61f680f97_oAn Interdisciplinary Workshop held at University Campus Bio-Medico in Rome, October 14-15, 2014.

With increasing interest in systems biology, properties at the system level such as robustness have attracted relevant scientific research.Robustness is a central concept in physics, chemistry and engineering, as it deals with different aspects of systems adapting to boundary changes without loosing their functional initial configuration. The concept of robustness is really important to define the organism as it reveals its individuality and persistence, its ability to maintain the initial functional structure through contingent changes, i.e. internal and external perturbations.

The aim of this workshop is to work on the philosophical foundations of the promising concept of robustness, focusing particularly on its relevance in order to characterize the peculiarity of living systems dynamics and relationships. Continue reading Robustness in Biological Systems