Transport networks are crucial to the functioning of natural and technological systems. Nature features transport networks that are adaptive over a vast range of parameters, thus providing an impressive level of robustness in supply. Theoretical and experimental studies have found that real-world transport networks exhibit both tree-like motifs and cycles. When the network is subject to load fluctuations, the presence of cyclic motifs may help to reduce flow fluctuations and, thus, render supply in the network more robust. While previous studies considered network topology via optimization principles, here, we take a dynamical systems approach and study a simple model of a flow network with dynamically adapting weights (conductances). We assume a spatially non-uniform distribution of rapidly fluctuating loads in the sinks and investigate what network configurations are dynamically stable. The network converges to a spatially non-uniform stable configuration composed of both cyclic and tree-like structures. Cyclic structures emerge locally in a transcritical bifurcation as the amplitude of the load fluctuations is increased. The resulting adaptive dynamics thus partitions the network into two distinct regions with cyclic and tree-like structures. The location of the boundary between these two regions is determined by the amplitude of the fluctuations. These findings may explain why natural transport networks display cyclic structures in the micro-vascular regions near terminal nodes, but tree-like features in the regions with larger veins.
The simplest network of coupled phase-oscillators exhibiting chimera states is given by two populations with disparate intra- and inter-population coupling strengths. We explore the effects of heterogeneous coupling phase-lags between the two populations. Such heterogeneity arises naturally in various settings, for example as an approximation to transmission delays, excitatory-inhibitory interactions, or as amplitude and phase responses of oscillators with electrical or mechanical coupling. We find that breaking the phase-lag symmetry results in a variety of states with uniform and non-uniform synchronization, including in-phase and anti-phase synchrony, full incoherence (splay state), chimera states with phase separation of 0 or π between populations, and states where both populations remain desynchronized. These desynchronized states exhibit stable, oscillatory, and even chaotic dynamics. Moreover, we identify the bifurcations through which chimera and desynchronized states emerge. Stable chimera states and desynchronized solutions, which do not arise for homogeneous phase-lag parameters, emerge as a result of competition between synchronized in-phase, anti-phase equilibria, and fully incoherent states when the phase-lags are near ±π/2 (cosine coupling). These findings elucidate previous experimental results involving a network of mechanical oscillators and provide further insight into the breakdown of synchrony in biological systems.
Through regulation of the extracellular fluid volume, the kidneys provide important long-term regulation of blood pressure. At the level of the individual functional unit (the nephron), pressure and flow control involves two different mechanisms that both produce oscillations. The nephrons are arranged in a complex branching structure that delivers blood to each nephron and, at the same time, provides a basis for an interaction between adjacent nephrons. The functional consequences of this interaction are not understood, and at present it is not possible to address this question experimentally. We provide experimental data and a new modeling approach to clarify this problem. To resolve details of microvascular structure, we collected 3D data from more than 150 afferent arterioles in an optically cleared rat kidney. Using these results together with published micro-computed tomography (μCT) data we develop an algorithm for generating the renal arterial network. We then introduce a mathematical model describing blood flow dynamics and nephron to nephron interaction in the network. The model includes an implementation of electrical signal propagation along a vascular wall. Simulation results show that the renal arterial architecture plays an important role in maintaining adequate pressure levels and the self-sustained dynamics of nephrons.
Chimera states---curious symmetry-broken states in systems of identical coupled oscillators---typically occur only for certain initial conditions. Here we analyze their basins of attraction in a simple system comprised of two populations. Using perturbative analysis and numerical simulation we evaluate asymptotic states and associated destination maps, and demonstrate that basins form a complex twisting structure in phase space. Understanding the basins' precise nature may help in the development of control methods to switch between chimera patterns, with possible technological and neural system applications.
Two symmetrically coupled populations of N oscillators with inertia m display chaotic solutions with broken symmetry similar to experimental observations with mechanical pendula. In particular, we report the first evidence of intermittent chaotic chimeras, where one population is synchronized and the other jumps erratically between laminar and turbulent phases. These states have finite life-times diverging as a power-law with N and m. Lyapunov analyses reveal chaotic properties in quantitative agreement with theoretical predictions for globally coupled dissipative systems.
Life in the ocean is shaped by the trade-off between a need to encounter other organisms for feeding or mating, and to avoid encounters with predators. Avoiding or achieving encounters necessitates an efficient means of collecting the maximum possible information from the surroundings through the use of remote sensing. In this study, we explore how sensing mode and range depend on body size. We reveal a hierarchy of sensing modes (chemosensing, mechanosensing, vision, hearing, and echolocation) where body size determines the available battery of sensing modes and where larger body size means a longer sensing range. The size-dependent hierarchy and the transitions between primary sensory modes are explained on the grounds of limiting factors set by physiology and the physical laws governing signal generation, transmission and reception. We characterize the governing mechanisms and theoretically predict the body size limits for various sensory modes, which align very well with size ranges found in literature. The treatise of all ocean life, from unicellular organisms to whales, demonstrates how body size determines available sensing modes, and thereby acts as a major structuring factor of aquatic life.
The size of an individual organism is a key trait to characterize its physiology and feeding ecology. Size-based scaling laws may have a limited size range of validity or undergo a transition from one scaling exponent to another at some characteristic size. We collate and review data on size-based scaling laws for resource acquisition, mobility, sensory range, and progeny size for all pelagic marine life, from bacteria to whales. Further, we review and develop simple theoretical arguments for observed scaling laws and the characteristic sizes of a change or breakdown of power laws. We divide life in the ocean into seven major realms based on trophic strategy, physiology, and life history strategy. Such a categorization represents a move away from a taxonomically oriented description toward a trait-based description of life in the oceans. Finally, we discuss life forms that transgress the simple size-based rules and identify unanswered questions.
Coupled phase oscillators model a variety of dynamical phenomena in nature and technological applications. Non-local coupling gives rise to chimera states which are characterized by a distinct part of phase-synchronized oscillators while the remaining ones move incoherently. Here, we apply the idea of control to chimera states: using gradient dynamics to exploit drift of a chimera, it will attain any desired target position. Through control, chimera states become functionally relevant; for example, the controlled position of localized synchrony may encode information and perform computations. Since functional aspects are crucial in (neuro-)biology and technology, the localized synchronization of a chimera state becomes accessible to develop novel applications. Based on gradient dynamics, our control strategy applies to any suitable observable and can be generalized to arbitrary dimensions. Thus, the applicability of chimera control goes beyond chimera states in non-locally coupled systems.
The synchronization of coupled oscillators is a striking manifestation of self-organization that nature employs to orchestrate essential processes of life, such as the beating of the heart. While it was long thought that synchrony or disorder were mutually exclusive steady states for a network of identical oscillators, numerous theoretical studies over the last 10 years revealed the intriguing possibility of `chimera states', in which the symmetry of the oscillator population is broken into a synchronous and an asynchronous part. Particularly, numerous analytical studies, involving different network topologies, and various sources of random perturbations establish chimeras as a robust theoretical concept and suggest that they exist in complex systems in nature. Yet, a striking lack of empirical evidence raises the question of whether chimeras are indeed characteristic to natural systems. This calls for a palpable realization of chimera states without any fine-tuning, from which physical mechanisms underlying their emergence can be uncovered. Here, we devise a simple experiment with mechanical oscillators coupled in a hierarchical network to show that chimeras emerge naturally from a competition between two antagonistic synchronization patterns. We identify a wide spectrum of complex states, encompassing and extending the set of previously described chimeras. Our mathematical model shows that the self-organization observed in our experiments is controlled by elementary dynamical equations from mechanics that are ubiquitous in many natural and technological systems. The symmetry breaking mechanism revealed by our experiments may thus be prevalent in systems exhibiting collective behaviour, such as power grids, opto-mechanical crystals or cells communicating via quorum sensing in microbial populations.
We propose a phenomenological model for the polygonal hydraulic jumps discovered by Ellegaard et al., based on the known flow structure for the type II hydraulic jumps with a "roller" (separation eddy) near the free in the jump region. The model consists of mass conservation and radial force balance between hydrostatic pressure and viscous stresses on the roller surface. In addition, we consider the azimuthal force balance, primarily between pressure and viscosity, but also including non-hydrostatic pressure contributions from surface tension in light of recent observations by Bush et al. The model can be analyzed by linearization around the circular state, resulting in a parameter relationship for nearly circular polygonal states. A truncated, but fully nonlinear version of the model can be solved analytically. This simpler model gives rise to polygonal shapes that are very similar to those observed in experiments, even though surface tension is neglected, and the condition for the existence of a polygon with N corners depends only on a single dimensionless number φ. Finally, we include time-dependent terms in the model and study linear stability of the circular state. Instability occurs for suffciently small Bond number and the most unstable wave length is expected to be roughly proportional to the width of the roller as in the Rayleigh-Plateau instability.
Cancer results from a sequence of genetic and epigenetic changes that lead to a variety of abnormal phenotypes including increased proliferation and survival of somatic cells and thus to a selective advantage of pre-cancerous cells. The notion of cancer progression as an evolutionary process has been attracting increasing interest in recent years. A great deal of effort has been made to better understand and predict the progression to cancer using mathematical models; these mostly consider the evolution of a well-mixed cell population, even though pre-cancerous cells often evolve in highly structured epithelial tissues. In this study, we propose a novel model of cancer progression that considers a spatially structured cell population where clones expand via adaptive waves. This model is used to assess two different paradigms of asexual evolution that have been suggested to delineate the process of cancer progression. The standard scenario of periodic selection assumes that driver mutations are accumulated strictly sequentially over time. However, when the mutation supply is sufficiently high, clones may arise simultaneously on distinct genetic backgrounds, and clonal adaptation waves interfere with each other. We find that in the presence of clonal interference, spatial structure increases the waiting time for cancer, leads to a patchwork structure of non-uniformly sized clones and decreases the survival probability of virtually neutral (passenger) mutations, and that genetic distance begins to increase over a characteristic length scale L_{c}. These characteristic features of clonal interference may help us to predict the onset of cancers with pronounced spatial structure and to interpret spatially sampled genetic data obtained from biopsies. Our estimates suggest that clonal interference likely occurs in the progression of colon cancer and possibly other cancers where spatial structure matters.
A fundamental problem of asexual adaptation is that beneficial substitutions are not efficiently accumulated in large populations: Beneficial mutations often go extinct because they compete with one another in going to fixation. It has been argued that such clonal interference may have led to the evolution of sex and recombination in well-mixed populations. Here, we study clonal interference, and mechanisms of its mitigation, in an evolutionary model of spatially structured populations with uniform selection pressure. Clonal interference is much more prevalent with spatial structure than without, due to the slow wave-like spread of beneficial mutations through space. We find that the adaptation speed of asexuals saturates when the linear habitat size exceeds a characteristic interference length, which becomes shorter with smaller migration and larger mutation rate. The limiting speed is proportional to μ^{1/2} and μ^{1/3} in linear and planar habitats, respectively, where the mutational supply μ is the product of mutation rate and local population density. This scaling and the existence of a speed limit should be amenable to experimental tests as they fall far below predicted adaptation speeds for well-mixed populations (that scale as the logarithm of population size). Finally, we show that not only recombination, but also long-range migration is a highly efficient mechanism of relaxing clonal competition in structured populations. Our conservative estimates of the interference length predict prevalent clonal interference in microbial colonies and biofilms, so clonal competition should be a strong driver of both genetic and spatial mixing in those contexts.