Energetics of Biological Systems, Dr. Jonathan Rodenfels
Title: Energetics of Biological Systems
Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Rodenfels
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Abstract: Living biological systems are metabolically active, open systems that constantly exchange matter and energy with their environment. They function out of thermodynamic equilibrium and continuously use metabolic pathways to obtain energy from chemical bonds derived from nutrients to fulfill the systems energetic requirements. To understand how cells and organisms’ function, we need to determine how metabolic energy is partitioned among the complex array of cellular processes that are necessary for life at any scale, from isolated biochemical networks to quiescent and highly proliferative cells to organismal growth and development. To investigate the energetics of biological systems, I use isothermal calorimetry to quantitatively measure the flow of energy in form of heat between developing zebrafish embryos and their surroundings. During early cleavage stage development, the heat dissipation rate increased over time and with cell number. Unexpectedly, I found that the heat dissipation rate oscillated with periods matching the synchronous early embryonic cell cycle. By combining these measurements with specific perturbations, I will show that the energetic costs associated with a given biological process during early development can be estimated, and thus, provides a means towards understanding the energetics of biological systems.
Meeting ID: 992 5298 6520
Pass Code: 170710