February 28, 2014 at 2:33 am

Physics Colloquium: A Physicist’s Perspective on the Complexity of Biology, Feb. 28

The Physics & Astronomy Colloquium Series presents John Wikswo of Vanderbilt University on “A Physicist’s Perspective on the Complexity of Biology” on Friday, Feb. 28, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.

Abstract: The complexity of biological systems arises from highly nonlinear structural, metabolic, and signaling networks that span multiple spatiotemporal scales. Massively parallel systems-biology experiments provide ever more dynamic data. As we acquire complete, reductionist parts list for simple biological systems, we must ascertain how these pieces interact–a mathematical model of a functioning animal might require Avogadro’s number of partial differential equations, termed a Leibnitz. We are developing an integrated measurement and modeling system in which a computer specifies an experiment on organs-on-chips, the dynamic responses of the cells to a controlled stimulus are recorded using multiple real-time analytical techniques, and the computer then uses these data to select among possible models of the system and propose the next experiment for further model refinement. Preliminary results are encouraging–we only need to expand the approach by 23 orders of magnitude.

Upcoming Spring 2014 Events

Colloquia are held in the Walter Hall, Room 245, on Fridays at 4:10 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

TBA on Friday, March 14, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.

Serge Nakhmanson of the University of Connecticut on “Computational Design of Multifunctional Complex-oxide Materials Across Length Scales” on Friday, March 21, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.

Maxim Pospelov of the University of Waterlooon “Constraining the Dark Sector with BBN and CMB physics” on Friday, March 28, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.

Jennifer Dionne of Stanford University on “Visualizing chemical reactions and light-matter interactions with nanometer-scale resolution” on Friday, April 4, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.

Robert Austin of Princeton University on “Nonlinear Dynamics” on Friday, April 11, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.

Nick Wu of the West Virginia University on “Plasmon-Enhanced Solar Energy Harvesting” on Friday, April 18, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.

Departmental Awards Gathering on Friday, April 25, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.

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