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Reverse Engineering of Biological Complexity

Csete, Marie E. and Doyle, John C. (2002) Reverse Engineering of Biological Complexity. Science, 295 (5560). pp. 1664-1669. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.1069981.

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Advanced technologies and biology have extremely different physical implementations, but they are far more alike in systems-level organization than is widely appreciated. Convergent evolution in both domains produces modular architectures that are composed of elaborate hierarchies of protocols and layers of feedback regulation, are driven by demand for robustness to uncertain environments, and use often imprecise components. This complexity may be largely hidden in idealized laboratory settings and in normal operation, becoming conspicuous only when contributing to rare cascading failures. These puzzling and paradoxical features are neither accidental nor artificial, but derive from a deep and necessary interplay between complexity and robustness, modularity, feedback, and fragility. This review describes insights from engineering theory and practice that can shed some light on biological complexity.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Csete, Marie E.0000-0003-4591-0510
Doyle, John C.0000-0002-1828-2486
Additional Information:© 2002 American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Issue or Number:5560
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141112-141330446
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51676
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Nov 2014 00:47
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:14

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