Getting in shape: how do microorganisms control their geometry?

Speaker: Ariel Amir, Harvard

When: November 11, 2015 (Wed), 12:00PM to 01:00PM (add to my calendar)
Location: SCI 328

This event is part of the Condensed Matter Theory Seminar Series.

Abstract: Microorganisms such as bacteria and budding yeast are remarkably successful in accurately self-replicating themselves within several tens of minutes. How do cells decide when to divide? How do they control their morphology? I will show how ideas from statistical mechanics and materials science can help answer these questions. In particular, I will show how a stochastic model of cell size control, combined with single cell data, can be used to infer a particular strategy for cell size control in bacteria and budding yeast, and how the theory of elasticity can be utilized to understand the coupling of mechanical stresses and cell wall growth in bacteria.