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Mathematical Analysis of a Biological Clock Model
Linköping University, Department of Electrical Engineering.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Have you thought of why you get tired or why you get hungry? Something in your body keeps track of time. It is almost like you have a clock that tells you all those things.

And indeed, in the suparachiasmatic region of our hypothalamus reside cells which each act like an oscillator, and together form a coherent circadian rhythm to help our body keep track of time. In fact, such circadian clocks are not limited to mammals but can be found in many organisms including single-cell, reptiles and birds. The study of such rhythms constitutes a field of biology, chronobiology, and forms the background for my research and this thesis.

Pioneers of chronobiology, Pittendrigh and Aschoff, studied biological clocks from an input-output view, across a range of organisms by observing and analyzing their overt activity in response to stimulus such as light. Their study was made without recourse to knowledge of the biological underpinnings of the circadian pacemaker. The advent of the new biology has now made it possible to "break open the box" and identify biological feedback systems comprised of gene transcription and protein translation as the core mechanism of a biological clock.

My research has focused on a simple transcription-translation clock model which nevertheless possesses many of the features of a circadian pacemaker including its entrainability by light. This model consists of two nonlinear coupled and delayed differential equations. Light pulses can reset the phase of this clock, whereas constant light of different intensity can speed it up or slow it down. This latter property is a signature property of circadian clocks and is referred to in chronobiology as "Aschoff's rule". The discussion in this thesis focus on develop a connection and also a understanding of how constant light effect this clock model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för systemteknik , 2006. , 83 p.
Keyword [en]
Circadian, Methods of Multiple Scales, Transcriptional Translational Process
National Category
Control Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-6750ISRN: LITH-ISY-EX--06/3663--SEOAI: diva2:21978
2006-06-09, Algoritmen, B-huset, Linköping, 15:15
Available from: 2006-06-21 Created: 2006-06-21

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