Is Biological Organization more a cause or a consequence of functions? The story of chromosomes

Abstract : Organization is innate to any physical system, more so to a living one. How the details of biological organization evolve, sustain, but also gradually change is a subject area of intense research and philosophical debates. I describe examples and design principles of the same at various length and time scales. I focus on chromosomal designs in some more details. I demonstrate that DNA polymer sequence (Genetics) is overlaid by additional layers of organization where the sequence is folded and positioned non-randomly in a cellular nucleus (Epigenetics), in tandem with the on-going function. This programme is largely cell-type specific and regulated at multiple length scales. I describe the details of the same in the context of biological processes that integrate chromosomal functions with other cellular regulation. I conclude by arguing that a combination of deterministic and stochastic changes in the organization shapes biological and chromosomal functions. This talk presupposes very little Biology content and is geared towards a broader audience.

Date and Time: 2015/02/13 17:00 Venue: CETAA Hall
Speaker: Prof. BJ Rao Speaker - Affiliations: Senior Professor (I) at Dept of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai