Alison Kraigsley, a graduate student in USC’s Aerospace
and Mechanical Engineering Department, recently won first
place (out of 88 submissions) in the poster competition at
the “Dynamics Days Europe 2003” conference in
Palma de Mallorca, Spain on September 27th, 2003 for her poster
entitled, “Dynamics of Self-Propagating Fronts of Motile
Bacteria”, co-authored by Prof. Paul Ronney from the
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering department and Prof.
Steven Finkel from the Molecular and Computational Biology
Program. This conference was attended by prominent scientists
in many fields from both European and American academic institutions.
The poster described experimental research showing how colonies
of spreading bacteria behave as “reaction-diffusion
fronts” analogous to flames, polymers, and some acid-base
reactions. This knowledge may lead to an improved understanding
of the spread of infectious bacteria in medical devises such
as catheters, implants and contact lenses, the fouling of
oil and water pipelines by bacteria, and augmented oil production
using film-forming bacteria.
This research was supported by the USC Zumberge Interdisciplinary
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