How can a swarm swarm? — What is biophysics? #13

Herds of wildebeest, swarms of bees, and schools of fish all provide mesmerizing displays of coordinated motion. Fish, birds, and other animals numbering even in the millions can act as one not through centralized control, but through local actions and decisions, as each individual assesses the speed and orientation of its neighbors. This self-organization is … Continue reading How can a swarm swarm? — What is biophysics? #13

The Case For, and the Case Against, “The Case Against Education”

Four years ago, I read Bryan Caplan’s The Case against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money, a polemic about the form of education in the U.S. I disagreed strongly with a decent fraction of it, agreed strongly with a larger fraction of it, and overall found it stimulating — … Continue reading The Case For, and the Case Against, “The Case Against Education”

Things Fall Apart; The Bacterial Cluster Cannot Hold

About a recent paper from my lab: Deepika Sundarraman, T. Jarrod Smith, Jade V. Z. Kast, Karen Guillemin, and Raghuveer Parthasarathy, “Disaggregation as an interaction mechanism among intestinal bacteria,” Biophysical Journal (2022). Some bacteria stick together; others do not. We have seen these variations among bacteria inside the zebrafish gut, and it’s probably the case … Continue reading Things Fall Apart; The Bacterial Cluster Cannot Hold