It’s nice to start the week with good news: Richard has obtained a C R Barber Trust fund to attend the Principles of Biological and Robotic Navigation conference this August in Dresden. Good stuff Richard!
Great news today! George Parry, MSc-R Physics student co-supervised with Meera, has been accepted at the 2016 IFOM summer school in Quantitative Biology! This will be an excellent opportunity for this young physicist to get some hands-on training on cell biology!
Great news today! Two applications we submitted for pump priming funds to Warwick’s INTEGRATE AMR have been accepted! One is in collaboration with Meera Unnikrishnan (we’re very lucky to have George Parry working with us on this), and the other with Munehiro Asally, Yin Chen, and Vasily Kantsler. Each award brings £25k worth of equipment and consumables.
Good news today! My application for a Visiting Fellowship to the Mediterranean Institute od Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) has been approved by the University of the Balearic Islands! I will be working with my good friend Idan Tuval from mid July to the beginning of September. We’ll work on experiments and modelling related to a parasite of dinoflagellates. Really looking forward to it!
Richard has just received the great news that he’s been selected to participate in the 2016 summer school in Cargèse on Active Complex Matter. Well done Richard!
Together with Idan Tuval, I have been recently working on a Viewpoint for Physics, about an interesting recent PRL publication by Greta Quaranta, Marie-Eve Aubin Tam and Daniel Tam, from the University of Delft. They proved that flagellar synchronisation in Chlamydomonas depends on the presence of striated fibres joining the basal bodies of the two flagella. Apparenly, synchronisation of flagella from different cells or from the same cell can be based on completely different mechanisms! This is a really nice work, which opens a lot of new questions…
Matteo’s first paper as just been accepted in Physical Review Letters!
The paper concerns the following problem: which forces determine the motion of microorganisms through heterogeneous media (think e.g. soil or bottom sediments in lakes or coastal areas)? Current theories are divided in two groups, those that consider this to be mainly a microhydrodynamics problem, and those which do not consider fluid dynamics at all and treat it as a contact interaction problem. So: which one is right? For microorganisms pushing themselves from the back, recent work has shown that the interaction is fundamentally hydrodynamic. Matteo has now shown that for organisms with front-mounted flagella, instead, the situation is much more complex and both fluid-mediated interactions and direct contact have to be taken into account. The paper is not out yet, but you can already read a draft version in the arXiv.
Update: the paper has been published! Check it out here!
I just got very good news! Our lab has been awarded a Research Grant from The Royal Society. This grant will allow us to buy new equipment and kickstart a new collaboration with Dimitris Petroutsos (CEA, Grenoble) and Idan Tuval (IMEDEA, Mallorca) on Chlamydomonas phototaxis. This project will be the focus of Richard Henshaw’s Ph.D.
Matteo is currently attending the 2015 Boulder Summer School, on Soft Matter in and out of equilibrium. Boulder summer schools have a long tradition. They are quite long (4 weeks!), extremely well organised, and really interesting. Plus, Boulder is a wonderful place especially if you’re outdoors oriented!
Raphael is leaving this evening for Aberdeen! He is going for a conference on Physics and Biology of Active Systems, where he will present his (almost completed) work on bioactive dispersal of tracers. He found a cool effect that was not noticed before but ends up dominating the statistical properties of the tracers, which disperse with an effective diffusivity more than one order of magnitude larger than previously estimated. We’ll write-up soon(ish) so watch this space!