Rhythms of life are dictated by oscillations, which take place in a wide rage of biological scales. In bacteria, for example, oscillations have been proven to control many fundamental processes, ranging from gene expression to cell divisions. In genetic circuits, oscillations originate from elemental block such as autorepressors and toggle switches, which produce robust and noise-free cycles with well defined frequency. In some circumstances, the oscillation period of biological functions may double, thus generating bistable behaviors whose ultimate origin is at the basis of intense investigations. Motivated by brain studies, we here study an “elemental” genetic circuit, where a simple nonlinear process interacts with a noisy environment. In the proposed system, nonlinearity naturally arises from the mechanism of cooperative stability, which regulates the concentration of a protein produced during a transcription process. In this elemental model, bistability results from the coherent amplification of environmental fluctuations due to a stochastic resonance of nonlinear origin. This suggests that the period doubling observed in many biological functions might result from the intrinsic interplay between nonlinearity and thermal noise.
Trillo, S.; Gongora, J. S. Totero; Fratalocchi, Andrea(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2014-12-03)[Article]
We investigate wave collapse ruled by the generalized nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation in 1+1 dimensions, for localized excitations with non-zero background, establishing through virial identities a new criterion for blow-up. When collapse is arrested, a semiclassical approach allows us to show that the system can favor the formation of dispersive shock waves. The general findings are illustrated with a model of interest to both classical and quantum physics (cubic-quintic NLS equation), demonstrating a radically novel scenario of instability, where solitons identify a marginal condition between blow-up and occurrence of shock waves, triggered by arbitrarily small mass perturbations of different sign.
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