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Nat Rev Genet. 2004 Nov;5(11):826-37.

Biological robustness.

Author information

  • Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc., 3-14-13 Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa, Tokyo 141-0022, Japan. kitano@csl.sony.co.jp

Abstract

Robustness is a ubiquitously observed property of biological systems. It is considered to be a fundamental feature of complex evolvable systems. It is attained by several underlying principles that are universal to both biological organisms and sophisticated engineering systems. Robustness facilitates evolvability and robust traits are often selected by evolution. Such a mutually beneficial process is made possible by specific architectural features observed in robust systems. But there are trade-offs between robustness, fragility, performance and resource demands, which explain system behaviour, including the patterns of failure. Insights into inherent properties of robust systems will provide us with a better understanding of complex diseases and a guiding principle for therapy design.

PMID:
15520792
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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