Thursday, March 12, 2015

Aging in bacteria

I am please to announce the publication of our paper on aging in bacteria “From protein damage to cell aging to population fitness in E. coli: Insights from a multi-level agent-based model” in Ecological Modelling. This paper explores the fitness benefit of asymmetric damage partitioning (aging) in E. coli using an ABM. Specifically, we find that aging is beneficial, but the magnitude of the benefit is very small, so its probably a side-effect of some other process (see discussion in paper for more)We think this paper is an important contribution to understanding the role of aging in bacteria. In this post I want to do some mixing of art and science. In 2013 I attended the Congress of European Microbiologists (FEMS) in Leipzig, Germany. In his keynote address, Johan Leveau related the artwork of Ursus Wehrli (“The Art of Tidying Up”, to microbiology. I was really impressed by this and decided to apply that concept to our model to point to the role of spatial organization in aging of bacteria. 

Link to paper: