Friday, December 05, 2014, 02:30pm - 03:30pm
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Contact Host: Jin Wang
Director of the Yale Systems Biology Institute
John C. Malone Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Information Bottlenecks in Signaling and the Virtues of Multicellularity
Recently, we have shown how one can experimentally measure the capacity of signaling pathways and networks (Science, 2011). This analysis relied on an integrated use of microfluidic devices controlling cell micro-environment, quantitative single cell measurements of signaling events and new results in information theory. The surprising outcome of this analysis was the strong evidence of information bottlenecks present very early in signaling pathways. I will discuss how these bottlenecks can be potentially overcome by the cells, emphasizing the driving force for collective, multi-cellular signal processing. I will also focus on more recent results suggesting that the benefits of cell-cell communication have their limits due to the added associated noise, suggesting that small groups of relatively few cells might be the information processing units.
Location Laufer Center Lecture Hall 101