Posts Tagged ‘amoeba’

The Onset of Collective Behavior in Social Amoebae

T. Gregor, K. Fujimoto, N. Masaki and S. Sawai, Science 328, 1021-1025 (2010).

Princeton’s father of the cellular slime mold

Here is a very nice feature on John Bonner, Princeton emeritus professor and Dictyostelium hero. With a standing activity of over 70 years of research, he is probably the longest living research contributor to the fascinating world of the social amoebae.

He discovered in 1947 that Dictyostelium cells are attracted by and chemotax towards a chemical called  cyclic adenosine monophosphate or cAMP. And it is only now, more than 60 years later that we can actually visualize and measure the concentration of this chemical in living Dictyostelium cells using an optical technology called FRET.

This is a sampler of Bonner’s outstanding movie collection that he started during his undergraduate days:

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If you want to read more on him please go here.

Abstracts from contributions to recent international Dictyostelium meeting in Tsukuba/Japan

Currently, I am in the process of finishing up my work on amoeba signaling and aggregation in Tokyo. This work is in collaboration with and in the laboratory of Satoshi Sawai at the University of Tokyo. We also collaborate with Koichi Fujimoto, a theorist at the same institution. While no papers have been published yet, as a preview pasted below are three abstracts of contributions to a recent international Dictyostelium meeting held in Tsukuba/Japan. (more…)

Classic papers on signaling and aggregation of amoebae

Over the next few months/years I’d like to use this website to build up a repository of information on the various topics that we study in the lab. Today as a beginning I am introducing 4 classic papers that pioneered a system-level description and quantitative understanding of this spectacular phenomenon:

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In this movie roughly 200 starved amoebae of the species Dictyostelium discoideum are shown over 8 hours during which they find each other and culminate in a cellular slime mould. This process is seen as a survival strategy because individual amoebae would die under starvation whereas as in the multi-cellular organism 80% of the cells can survive as spores. (more…)