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QBI Seminar | How Cells Measure Length, Feb. 8

The QBI Seminar hosts Jané Kondev discussing "How Cells Measure Length" on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m. via Zoom.


Zoom: Meeting ID: 816 1824 0373 Passcode: 8Cy6fN


Kondev is Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and the William R Kenan Jr. Professor of Physics at Brandeis University.


Abstract: Gulliver noticed 140 years ago that the size of the cell's nucleus is proportional to the size of the cell. In the intervening years, similar observations have been made about other, large structures that self-assemble in the cell. This raises a fascinating question: How does the cell, which is micrometers in length,  measure its size with nothing more at its disposal than nanometer-sized proteins that diffuse, on occasion bump into each other, and transiently stick together?  In this talk I will describe quantitative experiments and related theory that reveal general principles of how cells measure their size and control the size of their internal structures. The case of self-assembly of actin cables in budding yeast is particularly interesting in this context, as it provides an example of a cell  controlling the length of a large, filamentous structure.  I will describe our  experiments and theory pertaining to this specific problem, which gets at the general question of how cells measure length?


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