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Studying Viral Populations with Tools from Quantum Spin Chains

TitleStudying Viral Populations with Tools from Quantum Spin Chains
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsS. Shivam, C. L. Baldwin, J. Barton, M. Kardar, and S.. L. Sondhi
JournalJ. Stat. Phys.
Date Publishedfeb
KeywordsBiological evolution, HIV, Quantum spin chains

We study Eigen's model of quasi-species (Eigen in Selforganization of matter and the evolution of biological macromolecules. Naturwissenschaften 58(10):465, 1971), characterized by sequences that replicate with a specified fitness and mutate independently at single sites. The evolution of the population vector in time is then closely related to that of quantum spins in imaginary time. We employ multiple perspectives and tools from interacting quantum systems to examine growth and collapse of realistic viral populations, specifically considering excessive mutations in certain HIV proteins. All approaches used, including the simplest perturbation theory, give consistent results.