Seminars & Colloquia Calendar
The predictive power of theoretical biology
Jean-Pierre Eckmann - University of Geneva
Date & time: Wednesday, 23 March 2022 at 10:45AM - 11:45AM
Abstract: I will argue, supported by an experiment, that theoretical biology moves (very slowly) in a direction where predictions (as in theoretical physics) become possible.
Starting from insights for a simple mechanical-genetic model of protein and the interpration of its spectral properties, one can formulate some predictions on the presence or absence of an effect when the protein is mutated. The results suggest that only mutations at specific positions in the gene sequence have a critical effect on the function.
These predictions have then been checked in a delicate experiment with actual mutations in the protein Guanylate kinase. A clear signal confirms the theoretical prediction.
Some of the people involved in this work are Tsvi Tlusty, Marta Siek, Jacques Rougemont, Elisha Moses, Eyal Weinreb, Albert Libchaber, Stan Leibler