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Journal of Chemical Physics 130 (2009) 014901 (10 pages) Molecular information processing in nonequilibrium copolymerizations

Summary: Journal of Chemical Physics 130 (2009) 014901 (10 pages)
Molecular information processing in nonequilibrium copolymerizations
David Andrieux and Pierre Gaspard
Center for Nonlinear Phenomena and Complex Systems,
Universit´e Libre de Bruxelles, Code Postal 231, Campus Plaine, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
We consider general fluctuating copolymerization processes, with or without underlying templates.
We study the spatial ordering resulting from the nonequilibrium conditions as well as the information
transmitted between the template and the synthesized copolymer. Information transmission turns
out to be optimal in the infinite-dissipation limit when no correlations between the monomers are
present. By contrast, we show that optimized regimes of information generation may exist when
template and correlations effects interact.
Information transmission and processing are crucial tasks for many biological functions. The most remarkable
information processing system is certainly the genetic apparatus. Genetic information is coded into the DNA molecular
structure. Its nucleotide configuration stores the information on the structure and function of subsequently synthesized
proteins. The processing of biological information can be discussed in terms of the dynamics of populations associated
with the different possible genetic sequences, the populations evolving by replications and mutations into quasi-species
[1, 2], as observed in vitro in evolution experiments on RNA and viruses [3, 4]. However, DNA information processing
occurs at the molecular level where thermal and chemical fluctuations are present. At thermodynamic equilibrium,
the reactive events are random and it turns out that no information can be generated or transmitted because of


Source: Andrieux, David - Service de Physique Non-Linéaire and Mécanique Statistique, Université Libre de Bruxelles


Collections: Physics; Biology and Medicine