Richard Losick: Developmental Biology of a Simple Organism

I. Spore Formation in B. Subtilis
II. New Research on Multicellularity
III. Stochasticity and Cell Fate

Part III: Stochasticity and Cell Fate

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Lecture Overview
How do simple cells differentiate, assemble into communities, and cope with change? Losick’s seminar addresses these questions in the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Part I is an overview of how B. subtilis makes a spore.

Part II presents research on the capacity of B. subtilis cells to form architecturally complex communities.

Part III presents research showing that B. subtilis uses a bet hedging strategy for coping with uncertainty.

Speaker Bio
Richard Losick is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, the Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology, and a Harvard College Professor. He received his B.A. from Princeton University in 1965 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1969. He was elected to the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow in 1969, and he joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1972. He is a past chairman of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology. He teaches the introductory course on molecular biology at Harvard College, and is Head Tutor for the undergraduate concentration in Biochemical Sciences.
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