Microbes hold astonishing speed records: the remarkable Thiovulum majus races along at 60 body lengths per second – the equivalent of Usain Bolt completing the 100m sprint in just over 0.8 seconds. Viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 replicate so rapidly that a single infection can produce 100 bn virus particles within a couple of days. And some bacteria lie dormant for millions of years.
This lecture looks at the biology behind these record-breakers, and what they can teach us about creating new materials.
Support the show
A lecture by Robin May recorded on 8 February 2023 at Barnard's Inn Hall, London.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch-now/record-breakers
Gresham College has offered free public lectures for over 400 years, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. There are currently over 2,500 lectures free to access. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds. To support Gresham's mission, please consider making a donation: https://gresham.ac.uk/support/