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The Physics of Microorganisms II

8 April 2019 | London, UK

Venue: Institute of Physics
Organizer: Institute of Physics
Registration deadline: 29/03/2019
Contact: Heather Blackhall

This one day meeting will explore some of the recent advances in the physics of micro-organisms from the perspective of soft matter physics, biological physics, photonics and statistical modelling. The following inter-related topics will be explored:

  • Microbial biofilms as complex fluids. The majority of bacterial spend their lives embedded in structured biofilms that protect them against damage e.g. from the application of antibiotics.
  • The motility of microorganisms. Many bacteria use flagellar motors to propel themselves, but there are a host other more exotic forms of motility that can occur both in bacteria (e.g. tank treading motion of type IV pili) and other microbes (e.g. helical waves of cilia in paramecium).
  • New non-invasive experimental techniques are being developed for the exploration of microorganisms and their habitats e.g. fluorescence microscopy, optical coherence tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray imaging, atomic force microscopy etc.
  • Modelling the evolution and the ecology of micro-organisms e.g. with game theory and stochastic simulations.
  • Key applications in biotechnology and disease that are driving the research into physical principles.
  • Tools from synthetic biology that can be used to explore biophysical phenomena.

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