ISB News

ISB Scientists Have Discovered When and Why a Microbial Community Might Collapse

Researchers in the Baliga Lab at Institute for Systems Biology have developed a framework for assessing the “health” of a microbial community through a stress test that enables them to ask when and why microbial communities collapse under different environmental conditions. The study, published on March 20, 2017, in the journal Molecular Systems Biology, determined that while microbes are equipped to respond to environmental changes, when pushed to the extreme under rapidly fluctuating conditions, the energetic cost of adapting becomes a burden and is unsustainable, leading to collapse. This framework will be invaluable for observing the behavior of microbial communities under simulations of current and projected environmental conditions, allowing scientists to make predictions about the future of our ecosystems and, more importantly, identify ways to protect those ecosystems.

Read the full summary

Recent Articles

  • Reshaping STEM Education Toward a More Equitable Future for Students

    ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons recently participated in a virtual event titled “Reshaping STEM Education Toward Equitable Futures for Washington Students.” Panelists shared their insights about how to leverage this complex moment to reshape STEM education toward equity, sustainability, and prosperity for Washington state’s students — especially those furthest from opportunity.

  • Shmulevich-Thorsson

    ISB Researchers Among Recipients of AACR Team Science Award

    The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has recognized The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project with the 2020 AACR Team Science Awards. Award recipients include Dr. Ilya Shmulevich, ISB professor and head of the Shmulevich Lab; ISB senior research scientist Dr. Vésteinn Þórsson; and former Shmulevich Lab members Drs. Brady Bernard and Theo Knijnenburg.

  • learning amid pandemic

    ISB Education Prepares Teachers for New Realities of K-12 Learning Amid Pandemic

    The coronavirus pandemic has had a drastic impact on K-12 education. In response, ISB Education has stepped up with a series of virtual workshops to provide much-needed support for student learning. Since March, more than 500 teachers and principals representing every educational district across Washington state have attended our “Systems Are Everywhere” workshops.