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Aging in Single-celled Organisms: from Bacteria to the Whole Tree of Life/JacopoGrilli

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Notes by user Jacopo Grilli (ICTP) for Aging in Single-celled Organisms: from Bacteria to the Whole Tree of Life

Post-meeting Reflection

1+ paragraphs on any combination of the following:

  • Presentation highlights
  • Open questions that came up
  • How your perspective changed
  • Impact on your own work
  • e.g. the discussion on [A] that we are having reminds me of [B] conference/[C] initiative/[D] funding call-for-proposal/[E] research group


Matteo Osella. Interesting idea of connecting laws of physiology (Hwa) with aging/senescence. Not trivial how to do that for single cells.

Lin Chao. Aging and asymmetry in E. coli. Advantage of asymmetry is portfolio diversification. Somewhat optimal level of asymmetry emerges.

Uli Steiner . Fitness as combination of fecundity and mortality. Death in the mother machine (surprisingly high): mother (early daugther) has an increased mortality rate with age, while her latest daughter has an approximately constant mortality rate. Idea: late daughter inherits the damage, while the mother was starting with minimal damage. No correlation between mother and late daughter lifespan.

Sri Iyer-Biswas. Cool data on C crescentus and collapses. Interesting observation of memory of past conditions lasting for long time.

Owen Jones. Senescence across the tree of life. Measure shape and pace (timescale)

Sabrina Spencer.

Bree Aldrige

Chris Kempes

Martin Picard

Geoffrey West


What is aging? Requires asymmetry in division and the ability to label individual with a "time stamp". In E. coli age of the pole, in mycobacteria cell wall. Senescence is the loss of function associated to aging. The question then is what is function. We have a bias for growth rate.

It is very unclear to my whether asymmetry is adaptive or not. It is also unclear how to prove it.

The other axis is memory. Memory (information) about the environment. Unclear how that is related with aging.

Reference material notes

Some examples:

  • Here is [A] database on [B] that I pull data from to do [C] analysis that might be of interest to this group (insert link).
  • Here is a free tool for calculating [ABC] (insert link)
  • This painting/sculpture/forms of artwork is emblematic to our discussion on [X]!
  • Schwartz et al. 2017 offers a review on [ABC] migration as relate to climatic factors (add the reference as well).

Reference Materials