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Letters to Nature
Nature 224, 177 - 178 (11 October 1969); doi:10.1038/224177a0

Homeostasis and Differentiation in Random Genetic Control Networks

STUART KAUFFMAN*

Biology Department, University of Cincinnati, Ohio.
*Present address: Committee on Mathematical Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

THE genome is a complex net of interacting components commonly thought to control homeostasis and differentiation through precisely constructed control circuits among the genes1–6. But I have found what seems to be a new class of dynamically stable systems, which suggests that even haphazardly constructed control nets of high molecular specificity undergo homeostasis and differentiation.

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References

1. Apter, M. J., Cybernetics and Development (Pcrgamon Press, Oxford, 1966).
2. Bonner, J. F., The Molecular Biology of Development (Oxford University Press, London, 1965).
3. Jacob, F., and Monod, J., Twenty-first Symp. Soc. Study of Development and Growth (Academic Press, London, 1963).
4. Sugita, M., J. Theoret. Biol., 4, 179 (1963).
5. Kauffman, S. A., J. Theoret. Biol., 17, 483 (1967).
6. Goodwin, B. C., Temporal Organization in Cells (Academic Press, London. 1963).
7. Kauffman, S. A., J. Theoret. Biol., 22, 437 (1969).
8. Bretscher, M. S., Nature, 217, 509 (1967).
9. Bullough, W. S., The Evolution of Differentiation (Academic Press. London. 1968).



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