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Sci Rep. 2011;1:154. doi: 10.1038/srep00154. Epub 2011 Nov 11.

Intrinsic noise alters the frequency spectrum of mesoscopic oscillatory chemical reaction systems.

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MOSAIC Group, Institute of Theoretical Computer Science, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland. Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics , ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland.


Mesoscopic oscillatory reaction systems, for example in cell biology, can exhibit stochastic oscillations in the form of cyclic random walks even if the corresponding macroscopic system does not oscillate. We study how the intrinsic noise from molecular discreteness influences the frequency spectrum of mesoscopic oscillators using as a model system a cascade of coupled Brusselators away from the Hopf bifurcation. The results show that the spectrum of an oscillator depends on the level of noise. In particular, the peak frequency of the oscillator is reduced by increasing noise, and the bandwidth increased. Along a cascade of coupled oscillators, the peak frequency is further reduced with every stage and also the bandwidth is reduced. These effects can help understand the role of noise in chemical oscillators and provide fingerprints for more reliable parameter identification and volume measurement from experimental spectra.

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