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Mathematical biology of motile cytoplasmic fragments

Mathematical Biology

Speaker: Alex Mogilner, UC Davis
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Mon, Oct 29 2012, 2:10PM

Cytoplasmic fragments devoid of nucleus and most organelles are able, nevertheless, to move, much like mother-cells. I will describe experiments and mathematical modeling that enabled us to discover that the fragments move by a graded growth of actin network. This network stretches the membrane at the sides, pushes against the membrane tension at the front and is crushed by the membrane tension at the rear. The actin network is recycled from the front to the rear by a surprisingly complex reaction-diffusion mechanism. The fragments are also able to polarize and sense direction in electric field.