Physics Colloquium - Friday, April 4th, 2008, 4:00 P.M.

E300 Math/Science Center; Refreshments at 3:30 P.M. in Room E200

Larry Liebovitch
Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences
Florida Atlantic University

Dynamics of Interacting Systems: How genes regulate other genes and how people influence other people

The dynamics of a complex system depends on the topological structure of how its pieces are connected and how those pieces interact with each other. The interesting dynamics of such systems will be illustrated with two examples. Genes can express transcription factor proteins that regulate the expression of other genes. The levels of gene expression, as determined by the mRNA levels measured by microarrays, can provide information on the topology of the gene regulatory network. People influence the emotional or behavioral state of other people. Dynamical models of these interactions can match previous observations and make new predictions that can be verified, or contradicted, by social psychology experiments. It's interesting that the feedback functions chosen to represent human social interactions can also shed light on how we should think about the biochemical interactions between genes. (References: [1] ,[2] ).