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"Nature is the grandest engineer known to man--though a blind one at that: her designs come into existence through the slow process, over millions of years, known as evolution by natural selection." Moshe Sipper speaks with a respect that borders on awe when referring to nature's ability to create living systems that can produce energy, process information, self-replicate, self-repair, function with defects, adapt to their surroundings, and improve the species over time through evolution. Sipper and his colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, are studying these natural processes to try to translate their underlying principles into the language of information technology--specifically, those aspects that bear on circuit design. "Nature has found effective ways to deal with large, complex systems, the numerous elements of which function imperfectly," muses Sipper. " That's where artifacts are going now, specifically electronic hardware."
Nancy Forbes, "Evolution on a Chip: Evolvable Hardware Aims to Optimize Circuit Design", Computing in Science & Engineering, vol. 3, no. , pp. 6-10, May/June 2001, doi:10.1109/5992.919259
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