Biologist Shashi Thutupalli questions our understanding of life and death in his Confluence lecture. His lecture is based on his exhibit FrankenShrimp where dehydrated brine shrimp remain dormant until they are placed in water. Once in water, they begin their life processes. He speaks about how cells in living beings need to be in a liquid state to be active, highlighting the importance of water in life sustaining processes.
Shashi Thutupalli is a Faculty at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS). A biophysicist by training he completed his postdoc at Princeton and PhD from theMax Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation, Göttingen. He is also associated with the Simons Centre for the Study of Living Machines, and ICTS.His research program aims for a broad understanding of the origins and organization of living systems. His lab is an interdisciplinary group combining experimental and theoretical techniques drawn from physics, engineering and biology. Broadly, they pursue two approaches – de novo construction of synthetic mimics of living matter and probing the physical basis of organization in living systems.