Physics, Computation, and Why Biology Looks so Different

Journal club details from Natalie:

We have set a date for the paper discussing this month, it will be Wednesday 29th April starting at 5.00pm.  We shall say provisionally occurring at the usual pub, but if the weather is exceptionally nice we may head to Kro instead…but that can be decided on the day!

A bit of change of schedule this month as we have only one paper [1], which has been chosen by Olu.  And after a recent geeking session with Mr Platt we decided to do some ‘back of the envelope’ science in place of a second paper.  This will be along the lines of ‘how many electrons in a swimming pool?’ (but perhaps a little more biology based).  The aim is to get some ‘back of the envelope’ numbers for things you wish you had a vague idea about when asked a stupid question.

Could be interesting, could be terrible…only one way to find out though!


  1. J.J. Hopfield (1994) Physics, Computation, and Why Biology Looks so Different Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 171, No. 1., pp. 53-60. DOI:10.1006/jtbi.1994.1211
Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 10:26 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Didn’t enjoy the paper, but was impressed by Kieran’s back-of-the-beermat calculation that states that there are a mere 1000 protons floating around a cell at any one time while at pH 7.

    Was even more impressed to find that his first calculation was nine orders of magnitude out.

    • 9 orders of magnitude, very precise but not very accurate 🙂

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