Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nonlinear Science

Title: On Function and Form
Speaker: Prof. Chao Tang
Speaker Info: UCSF
Brief Description:
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n the biological world, intimate relations between function and form are well established on the macroscopic and the microscopic scales. Macroscopically, vivid examples are almost everywhere we open our eyes: from the aerodynamic shapes of marine animals, the beautiful colors of flowers, to the extremely diverse life forms to fill in every niche on the planet. Microscopically, we have witnessed the great triumph of the structural biology in the past decades. There is, however, a big gap in between-on the mesoscopic scales. On these scales, to what extend the function of a system (e.g. signal transduction, pattern formation, cell polarization, homeostasis, cell division, bacteria stress response, etc.) and the organization of its parts are related? In this talk, I will present a case study of the segmentation polarity gene network in Drosophila. The function of this network is to stabilize the segmentation pattern of gene expression during the development. We found that although there are numerous networks which can perform the function, the requirement for the function to be robust severely constrains the network
Date: Friday, January 06, 2006
Time: 2:00PM
Where: Tech M416
Contact Person: Mary Catsicopoulos
Contact email: maryc@northwestern.edu
Contact Phone: 847/491-5586
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