Casey Diekman : Data Assimilation and Dynamical Systems Analysis of Circadian Rhythmicity and Entrainment- Mathematical Biology ( 80 Views )
Circadian rhythms are biological oscillations that align our physiology and behavior with the 24-hour environmental cycles conferred by the Earth’s rotation. In this talk, I will discuss two projects that focus on circadian clock cells in the brain and the entrainment of circadian rhythms to the light-dark cycle. Most of what we know about the electrical activity of circadian clock neurons comes from studies of nocturnal (night-active) rodents, hindering the translation of this knowledge to diurnal (day-active) humans. In the first part of the talk, we use data assimilation and patch-clamp recordings from the diurnal rodent Rhabdomys pumilio to build the first mathematical models of the electrophysiology of circadian neurons in a day-active species. We find that the electrical activity of circadian neurons is similar overall between nocturnal and diurnal rodents but that there are some interesting differences in their responses to inhibition. In the second part of the talk, we use tools from dynamical systems theory to study the reentrainment of a model of the human circadian pacemaker following perturbations that simulate jet lag. We show that the reentrainment dynamics are organized by invariant manifolds of fixed points of a 24-hour stroboscopic map and use these manifolds to explain a rapid reentrainment phenomenon that occurs under certain jet lag scenarios.
We present two models of perpetrators' decision-making in extracting resources from a protected area. It is assumed that the authorities conduct surveillance to counter the extraction activities, and that perpetrators choose their post-extraction paths to balance the time/hardship of travel against the expected losses from a possible detection. In our first model, the authorities are assumed to use ground patrols and the protected resources are confiscated as soon as the extractor is observed with them. The perpetrators' path-planning is modeled using the optimal control of randomly-terminated process. In our second model, the authorities use aerial patrols, with the apprehension of perpetrators and confiscation of resources delayed until their exit from the protected area. In this case the path-planning is based on multi-objective dynamic programming. Our efficient numerical methods are illustrated on several examples with complicated geometry and terrain of protected areas, non-uniform distribution of protected resources, and spatially non-uniform detection rates due to aerial or ground patrols.
The notochord, the defining feature of chordates, is a pressurized tube which actuates elongation of the chordate embryo. The zebrafish notochord consists of large vacuolated cells surrounded by a thin sheath. We characterized the patterns of the cells’ packing, and their relationship to the known regular patterns from the study of foams, and irregular patterns in a gel bead system. Disruption of the wild type packing pattern leads to developmental defects. We characterize the bifurcations between the relevant regular patterns in terms of nondimensional geometrical and mechanical ratios, and suggest an important developmental role for the eccentric "staircase" pattern.