Biological systems are able to replicate information with outstanding accuracy. In biochemical pathways such as those leading to DNA duplication or protein translations, different monomers can be distinguished because of equilibrium free-energy differences or via non-equilibrium mechanisms. In the first part of my talk I will show how, in simple copying reactions, these two discrimination modes are mutually exclusive and lead to opposite tradeoffs between error, dissipation and reaction velocity.
In multi-step reactions, such as in kinetic proofreading, these different modes can be combined to improve overall accuracy.
In the second part of my talk, I will present a recent theory to characterize fluctuations in accuracy and speed of these reactions.