Biology Research at IPCAS Lab
The research attempts to explore a tight binding between information theory and communication and that of the Biology. Thus, application of information theory to complex biological systems may shed the light to organizing principle and analysis of complex biological systems. Likewise, study of biological systems might yield new communication and networking theory. Specifically, we wish to learn and use existing biological nanoscale networks to develop the basis for novel communication principles, algorithms and models.
Quorum SensingQuorum Sensing (QS) is a decentralized collaborative decision-making process observed in nature and used by several living organisms. Bacteria use QS to estimate the density of their population and adapt their behavior, through regulation of their gene expression, according to their population density. To estimate the local population density, bacteria release specific signaling molecules called autoinducers. These autoinducers are subject to molecular diffusion in the medium. As the local density of bacteria increases, so will the density of autoinducers in the medium. Each bacterium have autoinducer receptors that can estimate the autoinducer density and infer the population density of bacteria according to it. Bacteria use quorum sensing to coordinate actions that cannot be carried out by a single bacterium by itself. These are generally energetically costly actions, that usually produce beneficial macroscale effects (from the bacteria point of view) when performed in synchrony by large bacteria population but bring no benefit when performed by a single bacterium. The research involves modeling and analysis of QS as a natural biological process.