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Advancing Biosystems Imaging: Imaging the hierarchical organization of biological systems

In recent years, advances in imaging probes, microscopy techniques and bioinformatics image analysis have markedly expanded the imaging toolbox available to developmental biologists. Apart from conventional phenotypic studies, embryonic development is increasingly investigated in vivo with improved accuracy in time and space and more detailed quantitative analyses down to the single-cell level (reviewed in). To get more insight into the elaborate cell dynamics (i.e. cell division, motility and morphological changes) and protein dynamics (i.e.

Color, structure and evolution of avian eggs: A multidisciplinary approach

Avian eggs are remarkably varied in their color, pattern, shape, size and ultrastructure. What evolutionary forces have affected their appearance and form? Using a multidisciplinary approach, I will explore the phenotypic diversity of avian eggs from functional and mechanistic perspectives, focusing on cuckoo egg mimicry, speckled songbird eggs, shorebird egg camouflage and nano-scale shell structure.

CANCELED: Animal attraction: Bioinspiration and the Digital Life Project

Nature-inspired solutions have spawned such products as potential cancer cures from animal and plants, novel antibiotics, and gecko-inspired adhesives. This “bio-inspired” approach applies integrative methods from anatomy, animal function, evolution, and biomechanics to inspire novel synthetic materials.  Further, new methods for visualizing animals has opened new doors into understanding the diversity of life.  This lecture will discuss how studies of gecko form and functions have contributed to a broader understanding of bio-inspiration.

Aerial autonomy at insect scale: What flying insects can tell us about robotics and vice versa

Insect-sized aerial robots will be deployed where their small size, low cost, and maneuverability give them an advantage over larger robots. For example, they could deploy in swarms to follow airborne plumes to locate gas leaks in dense piping infrastructure. However, miniaturization poses challenges because the physics of scaling dictates that many technologies used in larger aircraft cannot operate effectively at the size of insects. These include propellers, the Global Positioning System, and general-purpose microprocessors.


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