[This post is part of a series called “Brown Bag Lunch Reports” where I recap some of the academic talks given at college campuses in and around the city of Boston. Let me know what you think of the post format and what kinds of talks you think I should recap next!]
The Talk’s Title:
Manipulating natural bioelectric gradients to control growth and form in embryogenesis, regeneration, and cancer
In Plain English:
Changing the ways electric signals flow through living tissues alters the organisms’ growth in profound ways, including (but not limited to) the regeneration of complex organs like eyes and limbs.
Northeastern University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Complex Systems
What it covered:
Dr. Michael Levin’s lab investigates a little-known (and if half of what he says is true, very underappreciated) topic in biology: the effect of variation in the electric charges of cells on morphological development. If that last sentence sounded like a random string of sciencey-sounding words from different disciplines, there’s a reason for that: Dr. Levin’s work draws heavily from both physics and molecular biology. Continue reading “Bioelectric signals tell organisms when to grow limbs (among other things) – Recap of talk by Dr. Michael Levin” »