Fall seminar series begin in Biology, Engineering with microbial evolvability and pectus excavatum

UPDATE: New venue for this week’s ERC seminar and new set of locations for the seminars this semester.

Two weekly seminar series will begin this week for the fall semester. The Biology seminar series is held on Wednesdays at noon in Barnes Hall Room 224.  The Engineering Research Center seminars are held on Friday, 11 a.m. Check weekly for location, which alternates among three locations in McNair (Room 128; Room LR4, an A/V- and distance learning-enabled classroom, and the Auditorium).

Biology: Wednesday, August 27, Noon

Biology seminar flyer

From Dr. Barrick’s bio page:

“We use experiments with microorganisms, nucleic acids, and digital organisms to study evolution in action with the ultimate goal of understanding and harnessing evolution as a creative force. To ask how different types of mutations impact evolutionary potential, we are using deep sequencing to monitor the competitive dynamics of spontaneous beneficial mutations in these populations and also engineering specific genomic changes. Systems biology and biochemistry approaches are used to link the effects of mutations on cell physiology to how they affect competitive fitness at the organism level, and bioinformatics and comparative genomics are used to investigate whether similar mutational pathways are important in nature. Other research interests include investigating the functions of cryptic genomic elements and using mark-recapture techniques on microbial genomes to watch them as they evolve in the context of complex wild and pathogenic communities.”

Engineering Research Center: Friday, August 29, 11 a.m.

Flyer for ERC seminar, August 29, 2014
Introduction:

Pectus excavatum (PE) is the most common chest wall deformity. In PE patients, the middle lower portion of the sternum is depressed producing concavity of the anterior part of the chest wall. Correction is accomplished by using minimally invasive technique of chest remodeling developed by Dr. Donald Nuss in 1987. A curved metal bar is implanted to lift the sternum to its normal position. Upward force from the bar is opposed by downward sternal force, partially flattening the bar.  The bar may be removed 1-2 years later without PE recurrence provided that sternal force has become negligible. There is currently no method available for the in vivo measurement of sternal force. This project sought a noninvasive assay of sternal force using bar end-to-end distance.

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