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Subtle is the noise, but malicious it is not: dynamic exploits of intracellular noise

Presented by: 
Mustafa Khammash ETH Zürich
Thursday 7th April 2016 - 16:00 to 16:45
INI Seminar Room 1
Co-authors: Ankit Gupta (ETH Zürich), Corentin Briat (ETH Zürich)

Using homeostasic regulation and oscillatory entrainment as examples, I demonstrate how novel and beneficial functional features can emerge from exquisite interactions between intracellular noise and network dynamics. While it is well appreciated that negative feedback can be used to achieve homeostasis when networks behave deterministically, the effect of noise on their regulatory function is not understood. Combining ideas from probability and control theory, we have developed a theoretical framework for biological regulation that explicitly takes into account intracellular noise. Using this framework, I will introduce a new regulatory motif that exploits stochastic noise, using it to achieve precise regulation and perfect adaptation in scenarios where similar deterministic regulation fails. Next I propose a novel role of intracellular noise in the entrainment of decoupled biological oscillators. I will show that while intrinsic noise may inhibit oscillatory activity in ind ividual oscillators, it can actually induce the entrainment of a population of such oscillators. Thus in both regulation and oscillatory entrainment, beneficial dynamic features exist not just in spite of the noise, but rather because of it.
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons