Directed and Scaleable Evolution

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In a study published November 8, 2018 in the journal Cell, CCBS associated researchers, Chang Liu and Arjun Ravikumar,  reported that they have accelerated and simplified directed evolution by having live cells do most of the heavy lifting. By inserting a specially engineered DNA replication system into yeast, the scientists were able to coax selected genes to rapidly and stably mutate and evolve as the host yeast cells reproduced. 


Interdisciplinary Case Study: Mathematicians and Biologists Found Order in Cellular Noise

Rackauckas Nie Schilling

During development, cells take cues from their immediate environment to decide their fate, but it is not always easy to “hear” the relevant information among all the genetic and molecular activities that are taking place. Cells will quiet this noise so that they can make accurate calls on how to behave. Using the zebrafish hindbrain as a testing ground, three University of California, Irvine (UCI), scientists—applied mathematician Christopher Rackauckas (now at MIT), developmental biologist Thomas Schilling, and mathematical biologist Qing Nie—identified a strategy called intermediate states that cells use to control noise. Their paper is one of the first examples of how a specific cellular protein can tone noise down to levels necessary for developmental activities. THIS article is the backstory for “Mean-Independent Noise Control of Cell Fates via Intermediate States,” published on April 10 in iScience (

Internet of Bodies

MaryLee    Former MCSB/CCBS graduate student, Mary Lee, a mathematician with biology training, has written an interesting op-ed entitled  "The Internet of Bodies"  published in Washington Post's World Post.


Establishment of the MathBioSys Center on Multiscale Cell Fate

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The MathBioSys Center on Multiscale Cell Fate is being initiated with $10 million in funding, half from the National Science Foundation and half from the Simons Foundation. It will support research at the interface of mathematics and biology with implications for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, birth defects and aging.  Read More...

Establishment of the UCI Center for Cancer Systems Biology

cancersystems bioFueled by a $10 million, five-year National Cancer Institute grant, Marian Waterman, John Lowengrub and Arthur Lander have established the UCI Center for Cancer Systems Biology. It’s among just 13 research institutions nationwide that are part of the NCI’s Cancer Systems Biology Consortium.  Read More...

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