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Theory of Living Matter Group

Third regular meeting of the TLM group


The third regular meeting will start with a talk by Prof. Dennis Bray, who will give a talk on Protein computations and the origins of behaviour. Dennis Bray is a pioneer in the field of cell signalling, in particular by contributing to unveil the mechanisms of bacterial chemotaxis. He is co-author of the text book "Molecular Biology of the Cell" which is a canonical reference in biology education.

Cells are built up of molecular circuits that perform logical operations, analogous in many ways to electronic devices but with unique properties. Proteins in particular act like miniature transistors, controlling the biochemical processes of a cell and providing a basis for the sophisticated decision making of cells and organisms. I will illustrated these features with reference to the simple form of behaviour in which bacteria smell and swim towards distant sources of food. During bacterial chemotaxis, protein states encode the experiences of the cell past and present and use these data to select the best direction in which proceed—in effect to predict the future.

After the talk there will be plenty of time for informal discussions. We will serve some snacks and wine.

Date and venue

Date: Tuesday, 28th October from 6-8pm

Venue: Main lecture theatre, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge CB2 1NN

The Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University is located in Cambridge University Botanic Garden.


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