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Sergei Maslov

COVID-19 peaks reflect time-dependent social activity, not herd immunity

April 14, 2021

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have developed a new mathematical model for predicting how epidemics such as COVID-19 spread. This model not only accounts for individuals’ varying biological susceptibility to infection but also their levels of social activity, which naturally change over time. Using their model, the team showed that a temporary state of collective immunity—which they termed “transient collective immunity”—emerged during the early, fast-paced stages of the epidemic.


April 14, 2021


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Predicting microbial interactions in the human gut

March 1, 2021

The human gut consists of a complex community of microbes that consume and secrete hundreds of small molecules—a phenomenon called cross-feeding. However, it is challenging to study these processes experimentally. A new study, published in Nature Communications, uses models to predict cross-feeding interactions between microbial species in the gut. Predictions from such computational methods could eventually help doctors get a more complete understanding of gut health.


March 1, 2021


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CRISPR-induced immune diversification in host-virus populations

October 19, 2020

Just like humans, microbes have equipped themselves with tools to recognize and defend themselves against viral invaders. In a continual evolutionary battle between virus and host, CRISPR-Cas acts as a major driving force of strain diversity in host-virus systems.


October 19, 2020


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Mathematical models provide snapshot of human gut microbial community

December 9, 2019

Microbial communities can be found everywhere – from lakes to the soil on the ground, they are omnipresent yet invisible to the naked eye. Within those environments there exist dynamic communities which fluctuate in response to environmental changes. One such example is the human gut microbiome, which is comprised of microbes that influence the overall landscape of the gut.


December 9, 2019


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"Stable marriages" between microbes, nutrients they eat may explain diverse yet stable communities

July 19, 2018

A mathematical model created by IGB researchers could help scientists better understand an intriguing characteristic of microbial communities: their ability to achieve stability despite being so diverse.

Microbial communities are groups of microorganisms that exist in a variety of environments — in the soil, in the oceans, and in our bodies. Though these communities are complex and diverse, they are able to form stable ecosystems.


July 19, 2018


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Researchers use economic concept to understand microbial communities

February 20, 2018

A popular economic concept is helping IGB researchers understand how microbial communities operate.

Microbial communities are in our bodies, in the soil, in forests and oceans, and more. They’re made up of microorganisms that interact with each other in various ways, and these interactions can affect the surrounding environment.

Researchers like Sergei Maslov, a Bliss Faculty Scholar and professor of bioengineering in the Biocomplexity theme, want to understand microbial communities so they can learn how to manipulate them.


February 20, 2018


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