BioPhysics at the University of Oregon


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  • Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Physics Colloquium: 4 pm, Willamette 100

    Geometric order and movement patterns in embryonic epithelia: informing controversy using theory and computation

    Timothy Newman -- Arizona State University, Department of Physics and Center for Biological Physics

    Abstract: Embryonic development remains one of the most fascinating and yet poorly understood areas of biology. I will describe two recent examples of quantitative experimental measurements, both pertaining to embryonic epithelial tissues, which have been the subject of some controversy. The first is the apparent universality of cell neighbor statistics. The second concerns the mechanisms underlying the fundamental process of primitive streak formation in the avian embryo (which is also directly relevant to early human development). My group has been applying theoretical and computational tools, inspired by physics methodologies, to both examples. Whether our results have inflamed or resolved the controversies remains to be seen. Encouraging is the fruit borne from a tight-knit connection between theoretical biological physics and experimental biology .


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Last updated: April 12, 2010