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We say that (weak/strong) time duality holds for continuous time quasi-birth-and-death-processes if, starting from a fixed level, the first hitting time of the next upper level and the first hitting time of the next lower level have the same distribution. We present here a criterion for time duality in the case where transitions from one level to another have to pass through a given single state, the so-called bottleneck property. We also prove that a weaker form of reversibility called balanced under permutation is sufficient for the time duality to hold. We then discuss the general case.

Transport molecules play a crucial role for cell viability. Amongst others, linear motors transport cargos along rope-like structures from one location of the cell to another in a stochastic fashion. Thereby each step of the motor, either forwards or backwards, bridges a fixed distance and requires several biochemical transformations, which are modeled as internal states of the motor. While moving along the rope, the motor can also detach and the walk is interrupted. We give here a mathematical formalization of such dynamics as a random process which is an extension of Random Walks, to which we add an absorbing state to model the detachment of the motor from the rope. We derive particular properties of such processes that have not been available before. Our results include description of the maximal distance reached from the starting point and the position from which detachment takes place. Finally, we apply our theoretical results to a concrete established model of the transport molecule Kinesin V.

For an irreducible continuous time Markov chain, we derive the distribution of the first passage time from a given state i to another given state j and the reversed passage time from j to i, each under the condition of no return to the starting point. When these two distributions are identical, we say that i and j are in time duality. We introduce a new condition called permuted balance that generalizes the concept of reversibility and provides sufficient criteria, based on the structure of the transition graph of the Markov chain. Illustrative examples are provided.

Transport Molecules play a crucial role for cell viability. Amongst others, linear motors transport cargos along rope-like structures from one location of the cell to another in a stochastic fashion. Thereby each step of the motor, either forwards or backwards, bridges a fixed distance. While moving along the rope the motor can also detach and is lost. We give here a mathematical formalization of such dynamics as a random process which is an extension of Random Walks, to which we add an absorbing state to model the detachment of the motor from the rope. We derive particular properties of such processes that have not been available before. Our results include description of the maximal distance reached from the starting point and the position from which detachment takes place. Finally, we apply our theoretical results to a concrete established model of the transport molecule Kinesin V.

In this work, we consider the reversible reaction between reactants of species A and B to form the product C. We consider this reaction as a prototype of many pseudobiomolecular reactions in biology, such as for instance molecular motors. We derive the exact probability density for the stochastic waiting time that a molecule of species A needs until the reaction with a molecule of species B takes place. We perform this computation taking fully into account the stochastic fluctuations in the number of molecules of species B. We show that at low numbers of participating molecules, the exact probability density differs from the exponential density derived by assuming the law of mass action. Finally, we discuss the condition of detailed balance in the exact stochastic and in the approximate treatment.

In cultures of unicellular algae, features of single cells, such as cellular volume and starch content, are thought to be the result of carefully balanced growth and division processes. Single-cell analyses of synchronized photoautotrophic cultures of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii reveal, however, that the cellular volume and starch content are only weakly correlated. Likewise, other cell parameters, e.g., the chlorophyll content per cell, are only weakly correlated with cell size. We derive the cell size distributions at the beginning of each synchronization cycle considering growth, timing of cell division and daughter cell release, and the uneven division of cell volume. Furthermore, we investigate the link between cell volume growth and starch accumulation. This work presents evidence that, under the experimental conditions of light-dark synchronized cultures, the weak correlation between both cell features is a result of a cumulative process rather than due to asymmetric partition of biomolecules during cell division. This cumulative process necessarily limits cellular similarities within a synchronized cell population.

During life bones constantly adapt their structure to their mechanical environment via a mechanically controlled process called bone remodeling. For trabecular bone, this process modifies the thickness of each trabecula leading occasionally to full resorption. We describe the irreversible dynamics of the trabecular thickness distribution (TTD) by means of a Markov chain discrete in space and time. By using thickness data from adult patients, we derive the transition probabilities in the chain. This allows a quantification, in terms of geometrical quantities, of the control of bone remodeling and thus to determine the evolution of the TTD with age.

The interplay between turnover or degradation and ribosome loading of messenger RNA (mRNA) is studied theoretically using a stochastic model that is motivated by recent experimental results. Random mRNA degradation affects the statistics of polysomes, i.e., the statistics of the number of ribosomes per mRNA as extracted from cells. Since ribosome loading of newly created mRNA chains requires some time to reach steady state, a fraction of the extracted mRNA/ ribosome complexes does not represent steady state conditions. As a consequence, the mean ribosome density obtained from the extracted complexes is found to be inversely proportional to the mRNA length. On the other hand, the ribosome density profile shows an exponential decrease along the mRNA for prokaryotes and becomes uniform in eukaryotic cells. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2010

The interdisciplinary workshop STOCHASTIC PROCESSES WITH APPLICATIONS IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES was held in Bogotá, at Universidad de los Andes from December 5 to December 9, 2016. It brought together researchers from Colombia, Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine, who communicated recent progress in the mathematical research related to stochastic processes with application in biophysics.
The present volume collects three of the four courses held at this meeting by Angelo Valleriani, Sylvie Rœlly and Alexei Kulik.
A particular aim of this collection is to inspire young scientists in setting up research goals within the wide scope of fields represented in this volume.
Angelo Valleriani, PhD in high energy physics, is group leader of the team "Stochastic processes in complex and biological systems" from the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam.
Sylvie Rœlly, Docteur en Mathématiques, is the head of the chair of Probability at the University of Potsdam.
Alexei Kulik, Doctor of Sciences, is a Leading researcher at the Institute of Mathematics of Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences.