Molecular information processing and cell fate decisions

15 February 2013
14:00
Prof Michael Stumpf
Abstract
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.
  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar