BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos
Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics of Catalytic Information Processing Ouldridge, Thomas
Catalytic motifs are ubiquitous in cellular information-processing systems, from kinase signalling networks to the central dogma of molecular biology. This ubiquity results from the ability of catalysts to channel chemical free energy into far-from-equilibrium information-bearing states, allowing them to perform non-trivial computational operations. This power, however, comes at a price. At a fundamental level, the need to create non-equilibrium outputs sets thermodynamic constraints on these systems. At a practical level, catalysts must carefully balance kinetic and thermodynamic factors to ensure that the desired non-equilibrium output is actually reached. The complexity of this task explains the comparatively slow progress made with engineering synthetic non-equilibrium information-processing systems, as opposed to synthetic systems that form complex equilibrium assemblies. I will present our latest work - both theoretical and experimental - aimed at overcoming this challenge to engineer non-equilibrium catalytic systems for information processing.
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