I am looking for examples of (known) algorithms/data structures in biological systems. My current understanding is that these don't exist - or haven't been found - beyond a relatively low level of complexity, which would seem like strong evidence to me that evolution isn't able to come up with something as complicated (and multi-step) as, e.g., the Schönhage-Strassen algorithm.

I heard of Bloom filters for recognizing smells in fruit flies (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6304992/).

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    $\begingroup$ It would be helpful to know more about what you mean by "algorithms" or "data structures". Organismal morphogenesis could be looked at as an incredibly complex set of linked algorithms- people call it a "developmental program". $\endgroup$ Jun 16, 2020 at 18:34

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There are many examples of biological systems doing computation, according to my understanding:

  1. Regulatory networks encode decision trees of significant complexity: wikipedia.
  2. Alan Turing did significant work on organismal morphogenesis showing how simple chemical patterns of inducers can lead to complex outcomes, "Turing patterns".
  3. All of organismal development, cell division, etc. are tightly regulated procedures of gene regulation and morphogenesis.
  4. The inspiration for neural networks is brains.

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