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Mathematical Physics Seminar

Webinar: Jane Kondev - The Scale Invariant Cell

Location:  Zoom
Date & time: Wednesday, 12 June 2024 at 10:45AM - 11:45AM



Jane Kondev– Brandeis University

Wednesday, June 12th, 10:45AM EDT (Zoom meeting starts at 10:30 EDT)


The Scale Invariant Cell


Dr. Gulliver noticed 150 years ago that the size of the cell's nucleus is proportional to the size of the cell. Scaling of other organelles, such as the mitotic spindle, the nucleolus, mitochondria, etc., with cell size has been reported over the years. These observations suggest an engineering problem that cells face: How do living cells measure their own size and incorporate this information in the process of organelle assembly? I will review theoretical ideas and experiments that support a simple mechanism for detecting the cell volume, which is based on depleting the pool of building blocks in the process of assembly. In some cases the cell is faced with the challenge of measuring its linear dimensions to control the length of a self-assembling  filamentous structure, in which case the limiting pool mechanism does not work. I will describe some of our recent experiments and related theory that address the question of how cells measure length.

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