We are involved in a multidisciplinary EU project on self-construction, where we study the self organization processes leading to the development of the mammal cerebral cortex, out of a single progenitor cell (http://www.seco-project.eu/).
Project description :
1) XML was initially used to describe documents, and could be used to specify the parameters of when a java class -elsewhere specified- had to be instantiated. Recently, XML started to be use to describe not only the parameters, but the java class itself (e.g. see http://www.castor.org/ ).
In this project, we want to reproduce a scheme similar than what exists in biology with some parts of the code (the DNA) being instantiated to form effector objects (proteins), that conditionally instantiate other parts of the code. This mechanisms will be applied to the instruction code we are currently developing, which governs the behavior of the neurons in our simulations.
2) It this first part is completed,we will develop an automated method to take different code describing different subtypes of cortical neurons, and define a possible cell lineage tree (similar to a phylogenetic tree) giving rise to this distinct populations of cells.