The Biological Role of Stochasticity from Molecules to Communities




Kittisopikul, Mark Andrew

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The presence of stochasticity in biology engenders the question of the role of such randomness. While stochasticity may be an artifact of biochemical interactions, it could also be an actively regulated aspect of life. Here I investigate how noise may be encoded within the molecular interactions of a biochemical network and then examine how those consequences propagate to higher levels of organization including isogenic populations of cells and host-pathogen interactions. I particularly look into how this variability impacts the ability of populations to respond to their environments. I conclude that stochasticity is selectable property of life that adds robustness to biological processes during periods of uncertainty.

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