Recreational Biology: from animals in flatland to topological traps

Date: 
Monday, February 7, 2022 - 4:15pm
Location: 
1 Physics North & Zoom
Author/Speaker: 
Affiliation: 
Stanford University
Public Lecture: 
Yes

Title: Recreational Biology: from animals in flatland to topological traps 

Abstract: Recreational mathematics involves mathematical puzzles and games, often appealing to children and untrained adults, inspiring their further study of the subject. Can a similar analogy be drawn in biology? Without making any claims of usefulness, we will explore a wide range of puzzles in living systems including: Can single cells be toroidal in nature? Can a two-dimensional animal exist? How would these geometries manifest themselves in physiology of these systems. Can cells “literally” talk to each other? Can single cells think? How fast can a cell “blink”? How did the first multicellular life coordinate itself? Finally, we will reflect if curiosity is a good to have or a must have for biomedical progress; and how do we support it.