Informal seminar on Statistical Physics: "Noise-induced metastability in biochemical networks"
Starts 20 Nov 2012 16:00
Ends 20 Nov 2012 20:00
Central European Time
Leonardo da Vinci Building Euler Lecture Hall
Strada Costiera, 11
I - 34151 Trieste (Italy)
With recent advances in experimental techniques, it is becoming increasingly clear that the dynamics of cellular biochemical reactions are subject to a great deal of noise. This poses a significant challenge to our understanding of such systems, as it has been known for some time that the effects of noise may lead to substantial differences in the macroscopic behaviour. Here, we report analytical progress on this problem made by studying a simple class of reaction networks whose dynamical behaviour is radically affected by intrinsic stochasticity in finite volume cells. In particular, we show how networks of this type give rise to a separation of timescales between fast almost-deterministic oscillations and slow stochastic metastability. Our class includes the influential Togashi-Kaneko (TK) reaction scheme, which has been found to undergo a noise-induced dynamical transition via numerical simulations. Despite the importance of their work, a satisfactory analytic treatment of this effect has not been achieved in over a decade. Here we provide such a treatment as an application of our theory.