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Title:What is life and how does it work? - with Philip Ball

Discover a leading-edge new vision of biology that will revise our concept of what life itself is, and how to enhance it. Sign up as a member to watch the Q&A for this talk, and get early ad-free access to all our talks: Buy Philip's book here: 00:00 Intro - what is the secret of life? 04:09 Is the human genome a blueprint or a musical score? 7:58 Crick's central dogma of biology 12:03 What scientists got wrong about genes and proteins 18:50 Why evolution chose disordered proteins 22:27 The process of gene regulation 27:03 Why life doesn't work like clockwork 30:29 The growth of intestinal villi 32:18 Why do we have five fingers? 34:55 Causal emergence 38:09 Do all parts of us have their own agency? 42:46 How does this affect genetic approaches to medicine? 48:09 Why do organisms exist at all? Philip Ball explores the new biology, revealing life to be a far richer, more ingenious affair than we had guessed. There is no unique place to look for an answer to this question: life is a system of many levels—genes, proteins, cells, tissues, and body modules such as the immune system and the nervous system—each with its own rules and principles. In this talk, discover why some researchers believe that, thanks to incredible scientific advancements, we will be able to regenerate limbs and organs, and perhaps even create new life forms that evolution has never imagined. Philip Ball is a freelance writer and broadcaster, and was an editor at Nature for more than twenty years. He writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and has written many books on the interactions of the sciences, the arts, and wider culture, including 'H2O: A Biography of Water', 'Bright Earth: The Invention of Colour', 'The Music Instinct', and 'Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything'. Philip's book 'Critical Mass' won the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books. He is also a presenter of Science Stories, the BBC Radio 4 series on the history of science. He trained as a chemist at the University of Oxford and as a physicist at the University of Bristol. He is the author of 'The Modern Myths' and lives in London. The Ri is on Twitter: and Facebook: and TikTok: Listen to the Ri podcast: Donate to the RI and help us bring you more lectures: Our editorial policy: Subscribe for the latest science videos: Product links on this page may be affiliate links which means it won't cost you any extra but we may earn a small commission if you decide to purchase through the link.


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