The main aim of this sector is to investigate statistical systems of biological origin where the role of the disorder is paramount. In many of these cases the techniques developed in the context of glassy physics turn out to be very effective both at the theoretical and at the analytical level. However, this sector has broadened its scopes compared to the original aims of the center, and it is fair to say that it is now ready to include topics not directly related to glassy phenomena. In particular, ISC-Sapienza researchers have developed a growing interest and expertise in biological problems, at the molecular (protein folding), architectural (metabolic networks) and ecological (collective behaviour) level. More specifically the activity encompasses several studies concerning space-time evolution of nonlinearly strongly interacting ecological communities, the complex transport phenomena associated to the traslocation of biomolecules in membrane pores and solid-state nanopores. The collective organization and cooperative behaviour emerging in groups of social-interacting individuals (birds, mammals and fishes). The phenomenological modeling of the global organization of metabolic fluxes in bacteria exploiting only experimentally known stoichiometric information. ISC-Sapienza researchers are trying to develop new independent tools of analysis; this is particularly necessary in a rapidly moving field as complexity in biological systems that lacks a clear and well established framework, and that is intrinsically cross-disciplinary.
This section is edited by Fabio Cecconi.