Microbiologists are starting to shift from a single-cell-centered view of microbes towards a more multicellular, demography-centered one, and realizing that evolution and adaptation is closely linked with the community dynamics of cells and how they interact, very much like many-body physics in fact reveals emergent phenomena. This project marries evolution biology with nanotechnology and the intellectual approach of a physicist. The physicist approach used here is two-fold: (1) To exploit a new technology developed using the techniques of physics, (2) To conduct fundamental experiments and analysis on something simple but important: bacterial evolution. Evolution is still very much a contentious subject even amongst scientists. It might be argued that that the real conflict in evolution dynamics occurs amongst higher organisms and that bacterial evolution is well understood, but we think not.

Public Health Relevance

We believe that the influence of stress in evolutionary dynamics at many levels is not well understood, even with bacteria, and that studies of bacterial evolution will lead to powerful new insights into the origins of cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-SRLB-9)
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Princeton University
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