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J R Soc Interface. 2017 Sep;14(134). pii: 20170391. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2017.0391.

Complex systems biology.

Author information

1
BD2K-LINCS Data Coordination and Integration Center; Mount Sinai Center for Bioinformatics; Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1603, New York, NY 10029, USA avi.maayan@mssm.edu.

Abstract

Complex systems theory is concerned with identifying and characterizing common design elements that are observed across diverse natural, technological and social complex systems. Systems biology, a more holistic approach to study molecules and cells in biology, has advanced rapidly in the past two decades. However, not much appreciation has been granted to the realization that the human cell is an exemplary complex system. Here, I outline general design principles identified in many complex systems, and then describe the human cell as a prototypical complex system. Considering concepts of complex systems theory in systems biology can illuminate our overall understanding of normal cell physiology and the alterations that lead to human disease.

KEYWORDS:

agents; complexity; evolution

PMID:
28931638
PMCID:
PMC5636275
DOI:
10.1098/rsif.2017.0391
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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