EFFECTIVE TEMPERATURE OF RED BLOOD CELL MEMBRANE FLUCTUATIONS, PHYS. REV. LETT, 106, (2011)
Biologically driven nonequilibrium fluctuations are often characterized by their non-Gaussianity or by an ‘‘effective temperature’’, which is frequency dependent and higher than the ambient temperature. We address these two measures theoretically by examining a randomly kicked particle, with a variable number of kicking motors, and show how these two indicators of nonequilibrium behavior can contradict. Our results are compared with new experiments on shape fluctuations of red-blood cell membranes, and demonstrate how the physical nature of the motors in this system can be revealed using these global measures of nonequilibrium.