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Oscillations, synchrony and deterministic chaos

Lloyd, David 2009. Oscillations, synchrony and deterministic chaos. In: Lüttge, Ulrich, Beyschlag, Wolfram, Büdel, Burkhard and Francis, Dennis eds. Progress in Botany, Vol. 70. Progress in Botany, Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 69-91. (10.1007/978-3-540-68421-3_4)

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The coherence and robustness of biological systems is an astonishing phenomenon that depends on oscillations, synchronous behaviour and, in some instances, deterministic chaos. Understanding of dynamic interactions on an extended range of timescales involves homeodynamic rather than homeostatic concepts. Thereby, oscillations produce highly complex processes of intracellular as well as intercellular synchrony and have led to the evolutionary emergence of responsiveness, motility, and developmental change. “Creative destruction” is as important as biosynthesis in the elaboration and maintenance of cellular structure. Synchronisation of oscillators even of the simplest physical kind is still incompletely understood. In a huge population of oscillators it involves the idea of coupling strength and sudden cohesion of a small cluster of oscillators as the spread of natural frequencies is decreased below a threshold. This represents an example of Prigogine’s theory of time order in which spontaneous transitions give spatio-temporal patterns in non-equilibrium open systems. Clearly, the ordered complexity of biological systems out-performs the simplicity of physical or chemical systems and its basic understanding remains a challenge despite recent successes in imaging and the increasing power of analytical chemistry. Network dynamics provides a promising tool for handling large data sets in such a way as to provide interpretation of behaviour of the whole system.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 978-3-540-68420-6
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2020 11:34

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