Gulliver Seminar Ulrich Gerland (Technische Universität München)

18 novembre 2019 11:00 » 12:00 — Bibliothèque PCT - F3.04

How can non-equilibrium physics enhance biochemical reactions ?

This question comes up in different contexts, ranging from molecular scenarios for the spontaneous emergence of life in prebiotic worlds, to the design of artificial molecular systems with "life-like" properties. Biochemical reactions form the basis for the dynamics of these systems, but key features of their behavior crucially depend on the coupling to their physical environment and physical transport processes. I will discuss several examples, in which the coupling to physical non-equilibrium processes rastically
alters the behavior of biomolecular reaction networks. One example focuses on the non-enzymatic copying of sequence information in DNA or RNA strands, and a trade-off between accuracy and yield of the produced copies. Another example deals with the effect of spatial organization on the outcome of biochemical reactions. In each case, I will first discuss the experimental context and then the conceptual issue from a more theoretical perspective, employing models in the realm of non-equilibrium statistical physics.

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