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Title:Order from chaos
Author(s):Perlova, Tatyana
Abstract:The intricate web of interwoven lines in the image is formed by the trajectories of several thousands swimming Esherichia coli bacteria observed under the microscope for a few minutes. Although it may seem chaotic, E.coli swimming is governed by a few simple principles that allow it to efficiently find the most favourable environment. Using its surface receptors, a bacterium assesses whether its surroundings are getting better or worse as it propels itself forward. If the environment is improving, the bacterium continues to swim in the same direction, if it stays the same or is getting worse the bacterium tends to randomly change direction. The net effect of this process, known as chemotaxis, is that populations of bacteria are able to migrate towards nutrients and away from poisons. In my research I try to understand how inherently stochastic decision-making on the single-cell level still allows a population as a whole to behave in an orderly fashion and accumulate at the optimal locations even in a complex environment with multiple gradients of different parameters.
Issue Date:2015
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Tatyana Perlova
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-23

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