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Metabolism: The sum of all biochemical processes involved in life

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Definitions of "metabolism" from Answers.com

me·tab·o·lism
n.

1. The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken down to yield energy for vital processes while other substances, necessary for life, are synthesized.

2. The processing of a specific substance within the living body: water metabolism; iodine metabolism.

[From Greek metabole, change, from metaballein, to change : meta-, meta- + ballein, to throw.]

Designing for Emergence at Harvard U

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Here's a Harvard University engineering and applied science graduate class that asks, "How do we engineer robust behavior from the cooperation of vast numbers of unreliable parts? Biology hints that there may be significant power to be achieved from building things out of cheap, imprecise parts with limited life."

CS 266: Biologically-inspired Distributed and Multi-agent Systems

Research topics include: swarm behaviors and robotics, amorphous computing and smart materials, reconfigurable robotics, immune-inspired systems, synthetic biology.

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