CSU researchers recently published a paper in Biophysical Reports furthering the design and understanding of microbial assembly lines by providing new mathematical tools for studying how spatial organization affects their performance.
This investigation into modeling microbial consortia was performed by CSU undergraduate Chemistry major (Honors B.S. in '22) Ryan Godin under the direction of Associate Professor Shawn Ryan from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics as well as the Center for Applied Data Analysis and Modeling (ADAM) at CSU and Bhargav Karamched from the Department of Mathematics and Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University.
In the last decade, technological developments from the maturing field of synthetic biology have had tremendous impact on diverse areas of society and the economy. Using synthetic biology, researchers engineer biological systems, such as cells, to carry out tasks that are difficult or impossible to achieve using traditional chemistry. Personalized medicine, sustainable agriculture, and biomanufacturing are just some areas currently benefitting from these techniques. However, the youth of the field means that there is still room for significant innovations. One potential innovation is to engineer communities of microorganisms called microbial consortia, instead of just a single species. Analogous to the assembly line, this results in improved process efficiencies by allowing each microorganism in the consortia to accomplish the specific task to which they are best suited.
This paper represents the thirteenth CSU undergraduate student co-authored paper since 2017 from the Ryan Research group. Twelve of those manuscripts have a CSU undergraduate as the first author, including this one. You can read the open-access article in Biophysical Reports: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpr.2022.100085