Fri, 15 Feb 2013
Prof Michael Stumpf
Imperial College
In this talk I will discuss recent developments in information theoretical approaches to fundamental

molecular processes that affect the cellular decision making processes. One of the challenges of applying

concepts from information theory to biological systems is that information is considered independently from

meaning. This means that a noisy signal carries quantifiably more information than a unperturbed signal.

This has, however, led us to consider and develop new approaches that allow us to quantify the level of noise

contributed by any molecular reactions in a reaction network. Surprisingly this analysis reveals an important and hitherto

often overlooked role of degradation reactions on the noisiness of biological systems. Following on from this I will outline

how such ideas can be used in order to understand some aspects of cell-fate decision making, which I will discuss with

reference to the haematopoietic system in health and disease.

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