Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh

Soft Condensed Matter, Biological Physics Experiment & Statistical Physics Seminars

Explanatory note

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Speakers should read this note

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.

Most recent meetings

Monday 19 Jan 15 - 1:00pm

Role of Solution Conductivity in Self-Electrophoresis

Jeffrey Moran (MIT)

Friday 16 Jan 15 - 2:00pm

Diffusiophoretic Drive for Catalytic Janus Particles

Joost de Gaaf (Univeristy of Stuttgart)

Monday 12 Jan 15 - 1:00pm

Thermal fluctuations: a tool to study simple fluids and binary mixtures at the micrometre scale

Clemence Devailly (Univeristy of Edinburgh)

Explore the Lunchtime Seminars archive

View collection: 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - past - all

or search:

Note for speakers

  • We try to encourage an informal atmosphere.
  • To encourage discussion, talks are limited to 30/40 mins plus up to 20/10 mins for questions.
  • Almost any style of talk is allowed and resident speakers are encouraged to give a variety of different types of talk during their stay at Edinburgh. Examples include talks about the speaker's research, a particular paper or publication (`Journal Club' talks), pedagogical talks, question-and-answer sessions, etc.
  • Speakers are encouraged to pitch their seminars to the whole group.
  • I would be grateful if the next speaker on the list could inform me of the title and short abstract (it should fit onto the usual advertising poster) of his/her talk by Wednesday of the week before, to allow me to do the advertising.
  • Anyone unable to give their talk on the scheduled date should in the first instance try to rearrange with someone else on the list, and only then inform me of the final outcome so that I can change the rota.
  • Talks of soft condensed matter students can only be cancelled with permission from Prof. Cates, and should be done as far in advance as possible to give some chance of finding a replacement.
  • If anyone would like to volunteer a seminar themselves, knows of a visitor or new arrival who might be willing to give a talk, or for any other queries, please contact the seminar organiser (see below for email address).