Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Physics & Astronomy

Faculty Mentor

Ross Martin-Wells


Presented during the 25th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 21, 2023 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

Cellular signals can have a range of responses, even when received by cells with no discernable difference. This is due to the various sources of interference or noise in the pathway from initial stimulation to a protein response. Sources of noise include the concentration of initial stimulus, the availability and state of various proteins, and the rate of decay of RNA or the produced proteins. These sources of noise can be modeled using the maximum entropy principle, where we predict increases in disorder in the channel. This research utilizes information theory; where disorder in information is modeled using the same methods as disorder in thermal energy. We hope to build a range of predictions for responses to a specific stimulus in a prokaryotic cell (Escherichia coli). Using this model, we can then start to make predictions on other sources of noise in more complex cells and eventually multicellular systems.


Available to Ursinus community only.