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International Webinar on Computational Modelling Applied to Health


Luisa Picanço and Fabrício Alves (TGHN)


On March 20th, at 14h, professor Jack A. Tuszynski, from the University of Alberta in Canada and the Polytechnic University of Turin in Italy, will deliver an online research seminar on computational modelling applied to health titled “Measuring and modelling electro conductive and quantum properties of cytoskeletal protein filaments exposed to electromagnetic fields.” The seminar will provide a physics perspective on intracellular biological phenomena.

Organised by the Vice-Presidency of Education, Information, and Communication (VPEIC/Fiocruz), through the Fiocruz Scientific Computing Program (PROCC/Fiocruz) in collaboration with The Global Health Network Latin America and the Caribbean (TGHN LAC), the event will take place on the Zoom platform in English.

About the Webinar

In this lecture, Jack Tuszynski will give an overview of modelling at the atomic and higher granularity levels to obtain information about the electrostatic and electro-conductive properties of the cytoskeleton. Computational simulations and experimental measurements on microtubules (essential in the separation of genetic material during cell division) and actin filaments will be presented, followed by a summary of numerous experiments conducted.

The conductivity and capacitance of tubulin (a significant target for cytotoxic anticancer treatments) and microtubules (composed of tubulin subunits, relevant in various viral infections) have been measured and modeled in the electric field frequency range between 100kHz and 1 MHz.

It is conjectured that this process, coinciding with the penetration of the Tumour Treating Field (TTField) into the cleavage furrow of a dividing cell, provides the most significant mechanistic explanation for the observed effects. Throughout the lecture, estimates of the forces, energies, and powers involved in the action of TTFields on microtubules and kinesin motors will be provided. These calculations are compared with typical values observed at the cellular level and provide solid arguments for the actual physical effects of TTFields on dividing cells.

Physics perspective on intracellular biological phenomena

The speaker will discuss additional experiments involving the exposure of microtubules and actin filaments to infrared radiation, THz electromagnetic waves, visible light, and ultraviolet laser light. In the case of exposure to ultraviolet laser light, quantum excitation characteristics with consequences for the field of quantum biology were observed.

The webinar is open for registration until the start of the transmission and will be moderated by PROCC researcher Fabrício Alves. Registration for the webinar can be done here.


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