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Theor Biol Med Model. 2011 Jun 22;8:21. doi: 10.1186/1742-4682-8-21.

Review and application of group theory to molecular systems biology.

Author information

1
Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Abstract

In this paper we provide a review of selected mathematical ideas that can help us better understand the boundary between living and non-living systems. We focus on group theory and abstract algebra applied to molecular systems biology. Throughout this paper we briefly describe possible open problems. In connection with the genetic code we propose that it may be possible to use perturbation theory to explore the adjacent possibilities in the 64-dimensional space-time manifold of the evolving genome. With regards to algebraic graph theory, there are several minor open problems we discuss. In relation to network dynamics and groupoid formalism we suggest that the network graph might not be the main focus for understanding the phenotype but rather the phase space of the network dynamics. We show a simple case of a C6 network and its phase space network. We envision that the molecular network of a cell is actually a complex network of hypercycles and feedback circuits that could be better represented in a higher-dimensional space. We conjecture that targeting nodes in the molecular network that have key roles in the phase space, as revealed by analysis of the automorphism decomposition, might be a better way to drug discovery and treatment of cancer.

PMID:
21696623
PMCID:
PMC3149578
DOI:
10.1186/1742-4682-8-21
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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