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The Stochastic Nonlinear Dynamics of Eukaryotic Flagella

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SDBW01 - Opening workshop

In nearly all of the contexts in biology in which groups of cilia or flagella are found they exhibit some form of synchronized behaviour. Since the experimental observations of Lord Rothschild in the late 1940s and G.I. Taylor’s celebrated waving-sheet model, it has been a working hypothesis that synchrony is due in large part to hydrodynamic interactions between beating filaments. But it is only in the last few years that suitable methods have been developed to test this hypothesis. Those methods have led to the discovery of significant intrinsic biochemical noise in the beating of eukaryotic flagella. This stochasticity occurs at the level of individual beats, with interesting variations within the cycle, and is correlated and even recurrent, with memory extending to hundreds of beats. Possible biological origins of this behaviour will be discussed.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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