Fassberg Seminar: The energetic costs of early development

Fassberg Seminar

  • Date: Jan 27, 2020
  • Time: 13:00 - 14:00
  • Speaker: Jonathan Rodenfels
  • Yale University, New Haven, USA
  • Location: Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie (MPIBPC)
  • Room: Ludwig Prandtl Hall
  • Host: Alec Wodtke
  • Contact: helena.miletic@mpibpc.mpg.de
Fassberg Seminar: The energetic costs of early development
All living systems function out of thermodynamic equilibrium and require a continuous supply of energy. To understand how cells and organisms function, we need to determine how metabolic energy is partitioned among the complex array of cellular processes that are necessary for life at any scale, from isolated biochemical networks to quiescent and highly proliferative cells to organismal growth and development. To investigate the energetics of biological systems, I established isothermal calorimetry to quantitatively measure the flow of energy in form of heat between developing zebrafish embryos and their surroundings. During early cleavage stage development, the heat dissipation rate increased over time and with cell number. Unexpectedly, I found that the heat dissipation rate oscillated with periods matching the synchronous early embryonic cell cycle. By combining these measurements with specific perturbations, I will show that the energetic costs associated with a given biological process during early development can be calculated, and thus, provides a means towards understanding the energetics of biological systems.
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