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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Monday, April 17, 2006

Stochasticity and designs of genetic networks


Peter Swain
McGill University

Monday, April 17, 2006
2:30 pm

402 Walter Library

Biochemical reactions are significantly stochastic. Stochasticity has been quantified by using fluorescent reporters in both bacteria and simple eukaryotes. Given its magnitude in vivo, it is at first puzzling how cells reliably process information: how can a signalling network, whose components have concentrations that significantly fluctuate in an unpredictable manner, generate predictable cellular behaviour? We will propose two network “designs” that aid information processing and flow in biochemical networks. The first, translational feedback, efficiently controls intrinsic noise in network components. The second is a genetic network that enables a cell to classify the state of its environment, despite extrinsic noise, from intracellular concentrations. Finally, we will highlight an experimental technique that harnesses intrinsic noise to quantify numbers of fluorescently tagged proteins.