Events Archive

Biophysics Seminar: Allyson Sgro | Janelia Research Campus | Understanding the emergence of microbial collective behaviors
Mon, Apr 8, 2024, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Groups of cells of all kinds work together as part of multicellular behaviors ranging from collective migration to development. These behaviors are coordinated at the level of single cells, where information about other cells and the environment are encoded in intracellular signaling dynamics that then drive cellular-level behaviors. We face…

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Biophysics Seminar: Jonas Cremer | Stanford University | Causes and consequences of bacterial growth - from protein synthesis to the human gut microbiota
Mon, Apr 1, 2024, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Growth is central to life, shaping physiology, ecology, and evolution. In this talk, I discuss our efforts to elucidate the causes and consequences of bacterial growth across scales. Starting from resource allocation models and the molecular and energetic demands of protein synthesis, I first introduce how bacterial cells adjust their…

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Biophysics Seminar: Mathieu Louis | UCSB | TBA
Mon, Mar 25, 2024, 12:30 pm1:30 pm
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Biophysics Seminar: Quan Wen | University of Science and Technology of China | Organizing Motor Behaviors Across Timescales
Tue, Mar 19, 2024, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Animal behaviors are complex and hierarchical spatiotemporal patterns. In the popular model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, behavioral sequences on a slower timescale emerge from ordered and flexible transitions between different motor states, such as forward movement, reversal, and turn. On a faster timescale, intricate head…

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Biophysics Seminar: Douglas Shepherd | Arizona State University |Exploring the 'rules of life' through optical microscopy
Mon, Feb 19, 2024, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

One governing principle of the microscopic world is "predictable randomness," where snapshots of a fluctuating process may appear random, but the average outcome of the process is predictable. An exciting frontier in biological physics is evaluating if predictable randomness extends to more complex, multi-component biophysical systems, such as…

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Biophysics Seminar: Ben Eysenbach | Princeton University | Contrastive Successor Representations
Mon, Feb 12, 2024, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Goal-reaching problems are ubiquitous in both the natural and engineered world. While learning to achieve goals is often considered an aspect of intelligence in biological systems, it is challenging to design practical algorithms for learning such behavior in high-dimensional environments. In this talk, I'll discuss recent work on contrastive…

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Biophysics Seminar: Wolfgang Losert | University of Maryland College Park | Sensing Physical Signals with Cytoskeletal Dynamics
Mon, Feb 5, 2024, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

The dynamic assembly and disassembly of the cytoskeleton can create waves and oscillations that are critical to cell migration and other important cell behaviors.  Chemical signals have been found to trigger and steer these waves, facilitating the guidance e.g. of immune cells to their target.   Here we consider the role of these…

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Biophysics Seminar: Daniel Goldman | Georgia Institute of Technology | Life at Low Coasting Number
Mon, Dec 11, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

In 1974 Purcell authored a paper “Life at Low Reynolds Number” to describe the counterintuitive world of microscopic organisms in which viscous dissipation so dominates inertia that “coasting” is impossible, and that the geometry of a path in an internal movement space dominates self-propulsion. It is typically assumed that a key difference…

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Biophysics Seminar: Tatiana Engel | Princeton University | The dynamics and geometry of choice in premotor cortex
Mon, Nov 27, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Neural responses in association brain areas during cognitive tasks are heterogeneous, and the widespread assumption is that this heterogeneity reflects complex dynamics involved in cognition. However, the complexity may arise from a fundamentally different coding principle: the collective dynamics of a neural population encode simple…

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Biophysics Seminar: Nikhil Malvankar | Yale University | How Do Electric Bacteria Breathe Without Oxygen or Soluble Electron Acceptors? Protein Nanowires: Structures, Functions, and Ultrafast Electron Transfer Mechanisms
Mon, Nov 13, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Deep in the ocean or underground, where there is no oxygen, Geobacter “breathe” by projecting tiny hair-like protein filaments called "nanowires" into the soil, to dispose of excess electrons resulting from the conversion of nutrients to energy, cleaning up radioactive sites. Although it is long known that Geobacter

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To be rescheduled: Biophysics Seminar: Alon Rubin | Weizmann Institute of Science | The internal structure of neuronal codes for space
Mon, Nov 6, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Recent advances in electrophysiology and optical imaging technologies enable recordings in behaving animals from hundreds or even thousands of neurons simultaneously. Since neural coding, computation, and communication rely on coordinated activity patterns across large cell populations, such data facilitate the study of the global structure of…

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Biophysics Seminar: Jerelle Joseph | Princeton University | Accurate computer models for understanding and engineering biomolecular condensates
Mon, Oct 30, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

The interior of cells contains numerous components that need to be carefully organized in space to fulfill a wide range of biological functions. The most widespread form of intracellular compartments completely lack membranes. In the place of membranes, these compartments—so called biomolecular condensates—are sustained and segregated in space…

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Biophysics Seminar: David Smith | NASA | Upper Atmosphere Microbiology and Insights for Solar System Exploration
Mon, Oct 23, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Earth’s atmosphere provides a thin barrier to the severe conditions of space. Globally, terrestrial microorganisms from our planet’s surface move through and interact with the blanketing atmosphere, analogous to how marine microbes drift through vast oceans. Whereas a century of exploration has allowed oceanographers to characterize…

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Biophysics Seminar: Susan Rosenberg | Baylor College of Medicine | The DNA Damageome, Cancer and Drugging Evolution
Mon, Oct 9, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

TBA

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Biophysics Seminar: Walter Reisner | McGill University | Nanofluidic Devices for Single-Molecule Analysis, Manipulation and Control
Mon, Sep 25, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Nanofluidic devices, e.g. based on nanochannels or nanopores, are networks of fluid-filled structures on a chip with dimensions ~1-100 nm.  These dimensions are on order of molecular length scales, giving rise to the ability to directly analyze, manipulate and confine single biomolecules.  In this talk I will focus on two different…

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Biophysics Seminar: Arup Chakraborty | MIT | The Evolution of Antibody Responses upon Vaccination
Mon, Sep 18, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Infectious disease-causing pathogens have plagued humanity since antiquity, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a vivid reminder of this perpetual existential threat. Vaccination has saved more lives than any other medical procedure, and effective vaccines have helped control the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we do not have effective vaccines…

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Biophysics Seminar: Bill Bialek & Josh Shaevitz | Princeton University | State of the Center
Mon, Sep 11, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm
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Biophysics Seminar: José Alvarado, University of Texas Austin| Connecting active “hardware” to biological “software”
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

The actomyosin cytoskeleton is a naturally occurring active gel found in virtually all mammalian cells. Its ability to contract allows cells to move, change shape, exert force, sense stiffness, and maintain constant tension. In order for the “hardware” of actomyosin gels to support such a diverse set of mechanical tasks, it is tightly coupled…

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Biophysics Seminar: Jasmine Nirody | University of Chicago | TBA
Sat, Apr 15, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm
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Biophysics Seminar: Heather Lynch, Stony Brook University| Emergent pattern formation in penguin colonies: Life at the crossroads of ecology, geology, computational geometry, and computer vision
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm

Aggregations are common in biological systems at a range of scales and may be driven by exogenous constraints such as environmental heterogeneity and resource availability or by “self-organizing” interactions among individuals. One mechanism leading to self-organized animal aggregations is captured by Hamilton’s “selfish herd” hypothesis, which…

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