Computing chemical droplet neurons guides with Bashar Ibrahim and other science news? In this paper, we present general methods that can be used to explore the information processing potential of a medium composed of oscillating (self-exciting) droplets. Networks of Belousov–Zhabotinsky (BZ) droplets seem especially interesting as chemical reaction-diffusion computers because their time evolution is qualitatively similar to neural network activity. Moreover, such networks can be self-generated in microfluidic reactors. However, it is hard to track and to understand the function performed by a medium composed of droplets due to its complex dynamics. Corresponding to recurrent neural networks, the flow of excitations in a network of droplets is not limited to a single direction and spreads throughout the whole medium. In this work, we analyze the operation performed by droplet systems by monitoring the information flow.
Most of the kinetic constants are taken from literature, the remaining four unknown parameters are derived by an evolutionary optimization procedure for an objective function describing the dynamics of the APC:Cdc20 complex. MCC:APC dissociation is described by two alternatives, namely the “Dissociation” and the “Convey” model variants. The attachment of the kinetochore to microtubuli is simulated by a switching parameter silencing those reactions which are stopped by the attachment. For both, the Dissociation and the Convey variants, we compare two different scenarios concerning the microtubule attachment dependent control of the dissociation reaction. Our model is validated by simulation of ten perturbation experiments.ConclusionOnly in the controlled.
Budding yeast asymmetric cell division relies upon the precise coordination of spindle orientation and cell cycle progression. The spindle position checkpoint (SPOC) is a surveillance mechanism that prevents cells with misoriented spindles from exiting mitosis. The cortical kinase Kin4 acts near the top of this network. How Kin4 kinase activity is regulated and maintained in respect to spindle positional cues remains to be established. Here, we show that the bud neck–associated kinase Elm1 participates in Kin4 activation and SPOC signaling by phosphorylating a conserved residue within the activation loop of Kin4. Blocking Elm1 function abolishes Kin4 kinase activity in vivo and eliminates the SPOC response to spindle misalignment. These findings establish a novel function for Elm1 in the coordination of spindle positioning with cell cycle progression via its control of Kin4. Find additional info on Bashar Ibrahim.
Cycles are abundant in most kinds of networks, especially in biological ones. Here, we investigate their role in the evolution of a chemical reaction system from one self-sustaining composition of molecular species to another and their influence on the stability of these compositions. While it is accepted that, from a topological standpoint, they enhance network robustness, the consequence of cycles to the dynamics are not well understood. In a former study, we developed a necessary criterion for the existence of a fixed point, which is purely based on topological properties of the network. The structures of interest we identified were a generalization of closed autocatalytic sets, called chemical organizations.