Class of 1960s Speaker, Veronica Ciocanel, Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Ohio State Univ.
Fri, May 3rd, 2019
1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
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The Mathematical Journey of RNA Molecules Along Cellular Roads by Veronica Ciocanel, Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Ohio State University, Class of 1960s Speaker, Friday, May 3, 1 – 1:45 pm, Thompson Chemistry 206
Abstract: For cells to function properly, many molecules and proteins must move around and organize themselves into complex patterns. How do these particles move in such precise ways inside cells? Messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules are an example of particles that localize during development of organisms and that carry genetic information from the DNA. In frog egg cells, these molecules must get to a target destination and are believed to diffuse, get actively moved, and perhaps also get anchored to reach that target. In this talk, I will show how mathematical modeling and analysis using differential equations and computation can give biologists an idea of how these mechanisms are contributing to the healthy development of the frogs. This framework allows us to account for the geometry of the cellular “roads” of mRNA transport and to predict that anchoring is necessary to obtain the timescales of localization observed in experiments. I will briefly mention how similar mathematical models apply to protein transport in neurons, which is key in neural communication.