Dresden 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 37: Systems Biology, Evolution and Neural Networks I

BP 37.1: Hauptvortrag

Donnerstag, 19. März 2020, 15:00–15:30, ZEU 250

Growth, death, and adaptation of bacterial cells: a quantitative analysis — •Ulrich Gerland — TUM, Munich, Germany

Bacteria such as Escherichia Coli serve as model systems to study basic principles of evolving living systems. For physicists seeking a quantitative understanding of such systems there are essentially two complementary approaches: One can consider a functionally defined subsystem and seek to understand how its function emerges from the interplay between the constituent molecules. If an entire cell is taken as a functional unit (arguably the smallest unit of life), this bottom-up approach is currently intractable. Alternatively, one can analyze the behavior of a functional unit, and extract quantitative phenomenological laws that reflect either fundamental trade-offs or evolved strategies. Importantly, this approach is applicable also to entire cells. It can form both the starting point and the guiding principle for a systematic top-down analysis of living systems. I will illustrate this increasingly popular approach with our own work (partially unpublished) on the growth, death, and interdependence between growth and death of Escherichia Coli cells. In particular, I will also discuss a trade-off in the apparent survival strategy of these bacteria and its evolutionary implications.

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