Navigation Links
Bacteria hold the clues to trade-offs in financial investments and evolution
Date:8/3/2013

Scientists have found that bacteria have the potential to teach valuable investment lessons. The research, published in the journal Ecology Letters, takes advantage of the fact that bacteria, like humans, have limited resources and are constantly faced with investment decisions. Bacteria though are successful with their investments and have colonised every inch of the surface of our planet.

The researchers, from the Universities of Exeter and Sydney, used mathematical models and lab-based synthetic biology, to predict bacterial investment crashes and boom-bust cycles. The study reveals how the diversity of life we see around us is maintained and demonstrates that the outcomes of investment decisions can be precisely defined. It explains why a single-celled, fat cat investor didn't win out long ago.

The scientists developed the mathematical model to predict the best way for bacteria to invest resources in a trade-off between growth and investment in stress resistance. While humans invest in cash, bacteria trade in costly proteins to reduce their stress levels or to increase consumption and so grow faster. Evolution is the decision making process with different choices encoded in the genes. Each bacterium makes an investment decision; the bad investors fall by the wayside, the good ones survive.

A set of strains of E. coli bacteria were created which had a broad range of abilities to deal with stress and invest in growth; those that were better at stress were worse at investing in growth. The bacteria were exposed to stress conditions salt and acid representing different market conditions. This allowed the researchers to precisely define, for the first time, the exact nature of the bacterial trade-offs seen in the lab.

Co-author Dr Tom Ferenci from the University of Sydney said: "The breakthrough was in using synthetic biology to create bacteria with different investment strategies, some investing in growth and others in stress resistance. This is the cleanest system yet that precisely defines a relationship between traded objects in a living 'market'."

Co-author Dr Ivana Gudelj from the University of Exeter added: "Combining engineered bacteria with mathematical models, we have shown that very similar investment opportunities can require different investment strategies. These strategies are constrained by the subtleties in trade-offs that are usually invisible or ignored in real markets. The study is a classic demonstration of Darwinian economics and survival of the fittest."

It has been believed for decades that trade-offs in the decision-making process give biological investors different niches to exploit as is the case in evolutionary decisions but until now, no-one has been able to prove or disprove it.

Dan Lovallo, Professor of Business Strategy at the University of Sydney and senior research fellow at the Institute for Innovation Management and Organization at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the research, said: "This paper breaks exciting new ground in the integration of the sciences and provides compelling new evidence on resource allocation that will be of interest to multiple fields: economics, finance, business strategy, and biology."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Bowler
j.bowler@exeter.ac.uk
44-013-927-22062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. MU researchers identify key plant immune response in fight against bacteria
2. Sheffield scientists shine a light on the detection of bacterial infection
3. Bacterial protein mops up viruses found in contaminated water supplies
4. Decades-old conclusion about energy-making pathway of cyanobacteria is corrected
5. Manipulating way bacteria talk could have practical applications, Texas A&M profs say
6. Scientists Discover How a Bacterial Pathogen Breaks Down Barriers to Enter and Infect Cells
7. Targeted antibacterial agent rapidly created in response to serious food safety pathogen
8. Cepheid Receives Grant to Develop Sample Processing and Amplification Methods for Detection of Bloodstream Bacteria
9. U Alberta finds weakness in armor of killer hospital bacteria
10. Genetically engineered bacteria prevent mosquitoes from transmitting malaria
11. Modifying surfaces by means of nanostructured reliefs to prevent the spread of bacteria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design and development services to medical ... “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says President and CEO, Tom KraMer. ... serving their product design and development needs through the years.” , Kablooe has earned ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016  AdvancedFlow Systems ... Inc. (AGI), based out of Maple ... Biogas Ltd. to its existing portfolio of contract ... agreement. AFS along with its sister companies Surround ... a vertically integrated industrial group that specializes in ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... MADRID , May 19, 2016 ... di una sessione orale durante il 52 ° ... (abstract n. 8006)    - Le conclusioni ... quanto riguarda i pazienti trattati, di cui il 90% presenta ... di sei mesi o più. Il settantadue per cento dei ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software ... report sexual assault kit processing to help them save time and reduce errors. , ... kits to be processed and victims informed of results. Due to a previous lack ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... a leading provider of secure digital communications services, today ... biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in ... facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... LONDON , March 17, 2016 ... market intelligence, forecasts the global biometrics market will ... an impressive 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, ... with embedded fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University ... University, announced today the formation of Neteera Technologies ... biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first round ... Neteera,s ... from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric identification, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):