How multicellularity evolves with William Ratcliff

This episode is with William Ratcliff. He is an Associate Professor at the School of Biological Science at Georgia Tech. Will studies the physics that constrains multicellular structures and examines the minute changes in certain yeast cells that allows them to become multicellular.

Here we talk about origin of life, emergence of complexity, eukaryogenesis, how cells become multicellular? and major questions regarding how multicellularity evolves.

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00:00:00 Introduction

00:00:50 Origin of life

00:09:02 Protocells and Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA)

00:11:58 Origin of LUCA

00:14:47 Evolution of life from LUCA

00:20:35 Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

00:27:44 Semantics of colonies, communities and multicellularity

00:38:25 Kin selection and Group selection debate

00:43:12 Reductionism in science

00:49:32 Strong emergence

00:55:49 Snowflake yeasts

01:11:20 Multicellularity in bacteria

01:14:10 Reproduction in yeasts

01:21:11 Growth regulation in snowflake yeasts

01:27:47 Reproduction of snowflake yeasts

01:34:44 Evolutionary game theory

01:38:34 Michael Levin's work on Xenobots

01:41:56 Darwinian evolution is crucial for multicellular systems to evolve

01:47:01 How cellular functions are regulated in multicellular systems?

01:54:52 Nicole King's work on Choanoflagellates

01:57:19 Polarity in multicellular systems

01:59:32 Syncytia (Multinuclear) cells 0

2:04:22 Snowflake system and major questions about multicellularity

02:15:09 Reverting multicellularity

02:18:09 Thank you!