Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jan Karbowski Abstract

Computational Systems biology and locomotion of C. elegans worms

In the beginning of the talk I will present briefly my current research interests in computational biology. For the rest of the talk, I will focus on one particular topic: locomotion of C. elegans worms.

C. elegans are standard biological organisms for molecular and genetic studies. Their behavioural repertoire is quite limited and sinusoidal locomotion plays a major part in it. Despite the identification of hundreds of genes involved in C. elegans locomotion, we do not yet have an understanding of its control. In particular, molecular, neural, and network level mechanisms are largely unknown. I will present a computational, system-level, model of C. elegans sinusoidal (undulatory) locomotion and provide its experimental support. The model is composed of two parts: microscopic (neuromuscular-sensory circuit) and macroscopic (biomechanics). The microscopic part reveals how oscillatory activity, used in locomotion, is generated. The macroscopic part explains the emergence of conserved relationships between mechanical parameters observed experimentally.


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