Document Detail

Energetic costs of cellular computation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23045633     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Cells often perform computations in order to respond to environmental cues. A simple example is the classic problem, first considered by Berg and Purcell, of determining the concentration of a chemical ligand in the surrounding media. On general theoretical grounds, it is expected that such computations require cells to consume energy. In particular, Landauer's principle states that energy must be consumed in order to erase the memory of past observations. Here, we explicitly calculate the energetic cost of steady-state computation of ligand concentration for a simple two-component cellular network that implements a noisy version of the Berg-Purcell strategy. We show that learning about external concentrations necessitates the breaking of detailed balance and consumption of energy, with greater learning requiring more energy. Our calculations suggest that the energetic costs of cellular computation may be an important constraint on networks designed to function in resource poor environments, such as the spore germination networks of bacteria.
Pankaj Mehta; David J Schwab
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2012-10-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-01     Completed Date:  2013-01-08     Revised Date:  2014-04-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  17978-82     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Energy Metabolism*
Models, Theoretical*
Grant Support

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