Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vienna Stochastic Biology Workshop Report

I am at IST Austria for a workshop on Stochastic Biology. This is really a nice place to be and I enjoy listening to science during the day and then going for a run and dinner in Vienna in the evening. Today I gave a presentation on Kami’s model of aging in E. coli, which (I think) was well-received. This workshop focuses on how stochastic intracellular mechanisms (e.g. gene expression) give rise to cellular behavior. I am interested in incorporating these mechanisms into my microbe models and then modeling populations of these to see how they affect population and ecosystem behavior. However, right now I am sitting here in the audience with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I feel like a kid in a candy store. All these novel observational and experimental techniques are producing very exciting data and I want to model it all. On the other hand, these tools are now so good that it sometimes is difficult to see what modeling can still contribute. If we can observe everything, why do we need models? Here is a link to the workshop: http://ist.ac.at/stochastic-biology/

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