Topology Protects Chiral Edge Currents in Stochastic Systems
Physical Review X 11:3 (2021)
Abstract:Constructing systems that exhibit timescales much longer than those of the underlying components, as well as emergent dynamical and collective behavior, is a key goal in fields such as synthetic biology and materials self-assembly. Inspiration often comes from living systems, in which robust global behavior prevails despite the stochasticity of the underlying processes. Here, we present two-dimensional stochastic networks that consist of minimal motifs representing out-of-equilibrium cycles at the molecular scale and support chiral edge currents in configuration space. These currents arise in the topological phase because of the bulk-boundary correspondence and dominate the system dynamics in the steady state, further proving robust to defects or blockages. We demonstrate the topological properties of these networks and their uniquely non-Hermitian features such as exceptional points and vorticity, while characterizing the edge-state localization. As these emergent edge currents are associated with macroscopic timescales and length scales, simply tuning a small number of parameters enables varied dynamical phenomena, including a global clock, dynamical growth and shrinkage, and synchronization. Our construction provides a novel topological formalism for stochastic systems and fresh insights into non-Hermitian physics, paving the way for the prediction of robust dynamical states in new classical and quantum platforms.
From genotypes to organisms: State-of-the-art and perspectives of a cornerstone in evolutionary dynamics.
Physics of life reviews 38 (2021) 55-106
Abstract:Understanding how genotypes map onto phenotypes, fitness, and eventually organisms is arguably the next major missing piece in a fully predictive theory of evolution. We refer to this generally as the problem of the genotype-phenotype map. Though we are still far from achieving a complete picture of these relationships, our current understanding of simpler questions, such as the structure induced in the space of genotypes by sequences mapped to molecular structures, has revealed important facts that deeply affect the dynamical description of evolutionary processes. Empirical evidence supporting the fundamental relevance of features such as phenotypic bias is mounting as well, while the synthesis of conceptual and experimental progress leads to questioning current assumptions on the nature of evolutionary dynamics-cancer progression models or synthetic biology approaches being notable examples. This work delves with a critical and constructive attitude into our current knowledge of how genotypes map onto molecular phenotypes and organismal functions, and discusses theoretical and empirical avenues to broaden and improve this comprehension. As a final goal, this community should aim at deriving an updated picture of evolutionary processes soundly relying on the structural properties of genotype spaces, as revealed by modern techniques of molecular and functional analysis.
Ciliary chemosensitivity is enhanced by cilium geometry and motility.
eLife 10 (2021)
Abstract:Cilia are hairlike organelles involved in both sensory functions and motility. We discuss the question of whether the location of chemical receptors on cilia provides an advantage in terms of sensitivity and whether motile sensory cilia have a further advantage. Using a simple advection-diffusion model, we compute the capture rates of diffusive molecules on a cilium. Because of its geometry, a non-motile cilium in a quiescent fluid has a capture rate equivalent to a circular absorbing region with ~4x its surface area. When the cilium is exposed to an external shear flow, the equivalent surface area increases to ~6x. Alternatively, if the cilium beats in a non-reciprocal way in an otherwise quiescent fluid, its capture rate increases with the beating frequency to the power of 1/3. Altogether, our results show that the protruding geometry of a cilium could be one of the reasons why so many receptors are located on cilia. They also point to the advantage of combining motility with chemical reception.
Conditions for metachronal coordination in arrays of model cilia.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118:32 (2021)
Abstract:On surfaces with many motile cilia, beats of the individual cilia coordinate to form metachronal waves. We present a theoretical framework that connects the dynamics of an individual cilium to the collective dynamics of a ciliary carpet via systematic coarse graining. We uncover the criteria that control the selection of frequency and wave vector of stable metachronal waves of the cilia and examine how they depend on the geometric and dynamical characteristics of a single cilium, as well as the geometric properties of the array. We perform agent-based numerical simulations of arrays of cilia with hydrodynamic interactions and find quantitative agreement with the predictions of the analytical framework. Our work sheds light on the question of how the collective properties of beating cilia can be determined using information about the individual units and, as such, exemplifies a bottom-up study of a rich active matter system.
Transient fluctuation-induced forces in driven electrolytes after an electric field quench
New J. Phys. 23.7 (2021), p. 073034