University of Cambridge > > DAMTP Statistical Physics and Soft Matter Seminar > Hopfield barriers: following the energy in cellular information processing

Hopfield barriers: following the energy in cellular information processing

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It has long been understood that energy dissipation is fundamental to life and we know a great deal about the molecular components which acquire and transduce energy. The role of energy dissipation in force generation and directed movement is well understood but its role in information processing has been much less well studied. We will draw inspiration from John Hopfield’s classic analysis of kinetic proofreading to suggest the broader principle that any cellular information processing task has a performance limit set by thermodynamic equilibrium. We describe such Hopfield barriers in the context of gene regulation and discuss the challenges of “following the energy” to disentangle how energy dissipation away from equilibrium gives rise to information processing functionality.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Statistical Physics and Soft Matter Seminar series.

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