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Cross-hierarchy systems principles

Goentoro, Lea (2017) Cross-hierarchy systems principles. Current Opinion in Systems Biology, 1 . pp. 80-83. ISSN 2452-3100. PMCID PMC5624732. doi:10.1016/j.coisb.2016.12.006.

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One driving motivation of systems biology is the search for general principles that govern the design of biological systems. But questions often arise as to what kind of general principles biology could have. Concepts from engineering such as robustness and modularity are indeed becoming a regular way of describing biological systems. Another source of potential general principles is the emerging similarities found in processes across biological hierarchies. In this piece, I describe several emerging cross-hierarchy similarities. Identification of more cross-hierarchy principles, and understanding the implications these convergence have on the construction of biological systems, I believe, present exciting challenges for systems biology in the decades to come.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Goentoro, Lea0000-0002-3904-0195
Additional Information:© 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( Available online 14 December 2016. This review comes from a themed issue on Future of systems biology; Edited by Arnold Levine. The author thanks John Doyle for discussions on Donella Meadows and systems thinking, Marc Kirschner for discussions over the years on conserved core processes, Uri Alon on discussions on part-whole hierarchy, Michael Elowitz for discussions on general biological designs, and students of Bi192 at Caltech who helped shape the ideas presented here with their questions and curiosities. The author is grateful for the support from the NIH New Innovator Award (DP2OD008471), NSF Career Award (NSF.1453863), and the James S. McDonnell Foundation for Complex Systems Science (220020365).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
James S. McDonnell Foundation220020365
Subject Keywords:Systems biology; Design principles; Exploratory behavior; Weber's Law; Bow-tie architecture
PubMed Central ID:PMC5624732
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170707-125027565
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Official Citation:Lea Goentoro, Cross-hierarchy systems principles, Current Opinion in Systems Biology, Volume 1, February 2017, Pages 80-83, ISSN 2452-3100,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:78858
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Jul 2017 20:05
Last Modified:06 Apr 2022 19:44

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