Biologically driven non-equilibrium 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". We show how these two indicators of non-equilibrium behavior can contradict. We compare our results with new experiments on shape fluctuations of red-blood cell membranes, for which these two indicators were independently measured.
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