Bartlomiej Waclaw

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Most cancers in humans are large, measuring centimetres in diameter, and composed of many billions of cells. An equivalent mass of normal cells would be highly heterogeneous as a result of the mutations that occur during each cell division. What is remarkable about cancers is that virtually every neoplastic cell within a large tumour often contains the same(More)
I t is a human trait to search for explanations for catastrophic events and rule out mere “chance” or “bad luck.” When it comes to human cancer, the issue of natural causes versus bad luck was raised by Tomasetti and Vogelstein about 2 years ago (1). Their study, which was widely misinterpreted as saying that most cancers are due neither to genetic(More)
The coupling of ecology and evolution during range expansions enables mutations to establish at expanding range margins and reach high frequencies. This phenomenon, called allele surfing, is thought to have caused revolutions in the gene pool of many species, most evidently in microbial communities. It has remained unclear, however, under which conditions(More)
Most cancers in humans are large, measuring centimeters in diameter, composed of many billions of cells. An equivalent mass of normal cells would be highly heterogeneous as a result of the mutations that occur during each cell division. What is remarkable about cancers is their homogeneity virtually every neoplastic cell within a large cancer contains the(More)
The universality of many pathways of core metabolism suggests a strong role for evolutionary selection, but it remains unclear whether existing pathways have been selected from a large or small set of biochemical possibilities. To address this question, we construct in silico all possible biochemically feasible alternatives to the trunk pathway of(More)
Evolutionary pathways describe trajectories of biological evolution in the space of different variants of organisms (genotypes). The probability of existence and the number of evolutionary pathways that lead from a given genotype to a better-adapted genotype are important measures of accessibility of local fitness optima and the reproducibility of(More)
One of the hallmarks of cancer is the accumulation of driver mutations which increase the net reproductive rate of cancer cells and allow them to spread. This process has been studied in mathematical models of well mixed populations, and in computer simulations of three-dimensional spatial models. But the computational complexity of these more realistic,(More)
Stochastic phenotype switching has been suggested to play a beneficial role in microbial populations by leading to the division of labour among cells, or ensuring that at least some of the population survives an unexpected change in environmental conditions. Here we use a computational model to investigate an alternative possible function of stochastic(More)
Bacterial conglomerates such as biofilms and microcolonies are ubiquitous in nature and play an important role in industry and medicine. In contrast to well-mixed cultures routinely used in microbial research, bacteria in a microcolony interact mechanically with one another and with the substrate to which they are attached. Here, we use a computer model of(More)