Seminars & Discussions
Week beginning 25 January 2015
Monday 26 Jan 15 - 1:00pm
The Physics of Plasmid Transfer on Microbial Colonies
Jakub Pastuszak (Univeristy of Edinburgh)
In addition to chromosomal DNA, many bacteria contain small pieces of DNA called plasmids. Plasmids often carry genes that provide resistance to antimicrobial drugs. Consequently, plasmid transfer (conjugation) between unrelated bacteria is an important factor contributing to the spread of antibiotic resistance. Using a computer model and simple calculations I have studied how the physics of inter-bacteria interactions affects the rate of plasmid transfer between adjacent cells in expanding bacterial colonies. In my talk, I will show that, although neutral (no fitness cost) plasmids may eventually spread to the whole colony, this process is hindered by spatial expansion and is thus very slow. In addition, mechanical forces acting between the cells may further decrease the rate of plasmid transfer to negligible levels.
Friday 30 Jan 15 - 11:30am - JCMB 2511
Personal Thermal Management by Metallic Nanowire-Coated Textile
Authors: Po-Chun Hsu, Xiaoge Liu, Chong Liu, Xing Xie, Hye Ryoung Lee, Alex J Welch, Tom Zhao, Yi Cui
Speaker: Tao Li
Heating consumes large amount of energy and is a primary source of greenhouse gas emission. Although energy-efficient buildings are developing quickly based on improving insulation and design, a large portion of energy continues to be wasted on heating empty space and nonhuman objects. Here, we demonstrate a system of personal thermal management using metallic nanowire-embedded cloth that can reduce this waste. The metallic nanowires form a conductive network that not only is highly thermal insulating because it reflects human body infrared radiation but also allows Joule heating to complement the passive insulation. The breathability and durability of the original cloth is not sacrificed because of the nanowires' porous structure. This nanowire cloth can efficiently warm human bodies and save hundreds of watts per person as compared to traditional indoor heaters.
365-371 (2015) pdf version
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