home .Featured, Meeting Announcements, Meetings Aspen Center for Physics summer workshop on “Physical Principles Governing the Organization of Microbial Communities.”

Aspen Center for Physics summer workshop on “Physical Principles Governing the Organization of Microbial Communities.”

This could be interesting – a workshops this summer at the Aspen Center for Physics.

June 3 – June 24
Physical Principles Governing the Organization
of Microbial Communities.

Kerwyn Casey Huang, Stanford University
Rachel Dutton, University of California San Diego
Alvaro Sanchez, Yale University
Jeff Gore*, MIT

Nearly every environment on earth is populated with a diverse community of microorganisms bound together by a web of interconnected metabolic interactions. Microbial communities direct global biogeochemical cycling, bioremediation, and disease prevention. Interest in the physical properties of microbial communities is as old as microbiology and imaging. In the 1600s, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek exploited his newfound powers of microscopy to discover that microorganisms living on and in his body showed a huge range in shape and size. This first rudimentary evidence that the human body harbors a microbiota also established the first hint of complex microbial ecosystems. Now, almost 400 years later, a renaissance of the study of microbiota spatial organization, driven by coincident revolutions in imaging and sequencing technologies, is revealing functional relationships between the biogeography and organizational principles of multispecies microbial communities, and with the health of the hosts (including humans) and the planet itself. The advent of low-cost, high-throughput sequencing is producing a revolution in the microbiota field. Previously, assessing the composition of a multispecies community was a daunting task doomed to incompleteness due to the challenges of identifying conditions in which individual species could be cultured. Now, compositional profiling has become routine, empowering experiments in which the effect of perturbations to a community can be rapidly and accurately assessed. This newfound capability presents enormous opportunities for physics and physicists to advance this incredibly exciting field. The goals of the program are to provide unique opportunities to deconstruct microbial communities and identify governing principles that broadly inform biology, physics, ecology, and evolutionary biology.

And note – I have not seen this for other workshops but the * next to one of the organizer’s name has special meaning:

* denotes the organizer responsible for participant diversity in the workshop


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