Mathematical Biology Program

University of Utah
Department of Mathematics

Mathematical Biology Program


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Mathematical Biology seminar

Chris Myers
Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah
"An Asynchronous Circuit Model of the Lambda Virus"
December 3
3:05pm in LCB 225

With the sequencing of the human genome and the genomes of other organisms, we now have a list of the parts that make up these biological systems. Through the use of microarrays and other new technologies, we are also beginning to get data on the functions of individual genes and how genes interact with each other to perform complex biological functions. In the functional genomic era, we will begin to take this vast amount of data, and try to reason about how these genetic systems work. To accomplish this, a systems biology perspective will need to be taken in which models and new, efficient analysis techniques must be developed to reason about these genetic networks. Engineers have vast experience in modeling and analyzing electronic circuits and systems. There are many similarities between genetic networks and electronic circuits. This talk will describe a model of the Phage Lambda virus using a stochastic asynchronous circuit. A stochastic model appears to be essential since in this system, like many others, the survival strategy taken by this virus has a random component which may be key in the evolutionary survival of the organism. Arkin et. al's discrete model based on the chemical master equation and Monte Carlo simulation required substantial runtime on a supercomputer while our new stochastic asynchronous circuit model produces results in less than a minute on a PC. Our results nearly match the master equation simulation and also have reasonable quantitative correspondence to Kourilsky's experimental results.

For more information contact J. Keener, 1-6089