Seminar Report

In 1638, Galileo Galilei proposed “the square-cube law”: the ratio of two volumes is greater than the ratio of their surfaces. This law enables us to understand why large animals like elephants need longer time to cool their body temperature than small ones like human. On July 17th, Miki Ebisuya at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) explained why human needs longer time to develop her/his body than mouse, at the iTHEMS seminar. In fact, the speed of the segment formation ("taisetsu" in Japanese) of human is twice or three times as slow as that of mouse. By combining state-of-the-art experiments and a model with two variables, her group discovered that the difference of tempos is due to the difference of biochemical parameters. The talk was clear and enjoyable. And it was accessible to the diverse audience. As a mathematician asked during the talk, their discovery raises a new fundamental question about why reactions in human are slower than those in mouse. The question might be also answered by the collaboration between biology and mathematics in a future.