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Physics Seminar - Biological physics in the third domain: archaeal extremophiles

This is a past event.

Friday, August 28, 2020 at 1:00pm to 2:15pm

Virtual Event

Dr. Laurence Wilson of the University of York (UK) will kick off the Physics department graduate seminars this semester with a biophysics talk.

Join us on Zoom

Biological physics in the third domain: archaeal extremophiles

Archaea have evolved to survive in some of the most extreme environments on earth.   Life in extreme, nutrient-poor conditions gives the opportunity to probe fundamental energy limitations on movement and response to stimuli, two essential markers of living systems.  Here we use three-dimensional holographic microscopy and computer simulations to show that halophilic archaea achieve chemotaxis with power requirements one hundred-fold lower than common eubacterial model systems.  Their swimming direction is stabilised by their flagella (archaella), enhancing directional persistence in a manner similar to that displayed by eubacteria, albeit with a different motility apparatus.  Our experiments and simulations reveal that the cells are capable of slow but deterministic chemotaxis up a chemical gradient, in a biased random walk at the thermodynamic limit.

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