Ribosomes, traffic jams, and phase transitions

Seminar: Berkeley-Davis Joint Colloquium at Davis | April 26 | 4-5 p.m. | Mathematical Sciences Building, UC Davis, 1147 (Colloquium Room)

 399 Crocker Lane, Davis, CA 95616

 Yun Song, UC Berkeley

 Department of Statistics

Since its introduction, the totally asymmetric simple exclusion process (TASEP) has been widely used to model transport phenomena in non-equilibrium interacting particle systems. Many mathematicians and physicists have studied this stochastic process under various conditions motivated by a broad range of applications. In biology, for example, the TASEP has been used to describe the dynamics of mRNA translation by ribosomes. Despite much progress, when particles have an extended size and hop at site-dependent rates, theoretically analyzing the behavior of the system and the associated phase transitions has remained challenging. In this talk, I will describe such an analysis, and present closed-form formulas for steady-state particle densities and currents. I will then discuss new biological insights resulting from this theoretical work. (Joint work with Dan Erdmann-Pham and Khanh Dao Duc.)