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Caveat on the Boltzmann distribution function use in biology

Research paper by Carlos Sevcik

Indexed on: 29 Jul '16Published on: 29 Jul '16Published in: Quantitative Biology - Quantitative Methods



Abstract

Sigmoid semilogarithmic functions with shape of Boltzmann equations, have become extremely popular to describe diverse biological situations. Part of the popularity is due to the easy avail- ability of software which fits Boltzmann functions to data, without much knowledge of the fitting procedure or the statistical properties of the parameters derived from the procedure. The purpose of this paper is to explore the plasticity of the Boltzmann function to fit data, some aspects of the optimization procedure to fit the function to data and how to use this plastic function to differentiate the effect of treatment on data and to attest the statistical significance of treatment effect on the data.