ME Department Seminar: Jim Valles (Brown)

11:00 am on Friday, January 24, 2014
ENG 245
Manipulation of Living Systems with Static Magnetic Fields: Living matter is intrinsically weakly magnetic. Nevertheless, magnetic fields intense enough to align biopolymers such as microtubules and to levitate organic materials can be generated. Experiments that reveal effects of magnetic fields on cellular processes will be discussed. First, the magnetic field induced alteration of the early cell divisions of frog eggs will be described. Studies of the phenomenon revealed factors controlling the nominal cell division geometry. Second, effects of magnetic forces and torques on the swimming of the micro-organism, Paramecium, will be described. These effects have yielded insights into Paramecium's interactions with surfaces and gravity's effects on their swimming.