Planet Earth

New Podcast: Microbes As Computers

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerOct 12, 2009 6:41 PM

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My second podcast is now live. I talk to Dennis Bray of the University of Cambridge about cells as microscopic computers. I first came across Bray's work while working on my book, Microcosm. I was looking for new work on how E. coli manages to figure out where to go when it doesn't have a brain or even a single neuron. Before long, I came across Bray's remarkable work on the sophisticated information-processing that goes on inside the bug. In this week's podcast I sound like I'm broadcasting out of a tin can (I'm getting that hammered out), but don't let my distractions get in the way of listening to Bray. And if you're interested in more details, check out his new book,

Wetware: A Computer in Every Living Cell.

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