Systems biology

Definition

Systems biology is the study of biological systems whose behaviour cannot be reduced to the linear sum of their parts’ functions. Systems biology does not necessarily involve large numbers of components or vast datasets, as in genomics or connectomics, but often requires quantitative modelling methods borrowed from physics.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    The brain comprises complex structural and functional networks, but much remains to be determined regarding how these networks support the communication processes that underlie neuronal computation. In this Review, Avena-Koenigsberger, Misic and Sporns discuss the network basis of communication dynamics in the brain.

    • Andrea Avena-Koenigsberger
    • , Bratislav Misic
    •  & Olaf Sporns
  • Protocols |

    Mammalian cells are powerful expression systems for producing glycosylated recombinant antibody preparations with minimal endotoxin contamination. This protocol describes procedures for antibody design, expression, purification and characterization.

    • Rodrigo Vazquez-Lombardi
    • , Damien Nevoltris
    • , Ansha Luthra
    • , Peter Schofield
    • , Carsten Zimmermann
    •  & Daniel Christ
    Nature Protocols 13, 99–117
  • Research |

    Miniature hydrogel compartments in scalable stacked and folded geometries were used to prepare a contact-activated artificial electric organ.

    • Thomas B. H. Schroeder
    • , Anirvan Guha
    • , Aaron Lamoureux
    • , Gloria VanRenterghem
    • , David Sept
    • , Max Shtein
    • , Jerry Yang
    •  & Michael Mayer
    Nature 552, 214–218
  • Research |

    Computationally designed icosahedral protein-based assemblies can protect their genetic material and evolve in biochemical environments, suggesting a route to the custom design of synthetic nanomaterials for non-viral drug delivery.

    • Gabriel L. Butterfield
    • , Marc J. Lajoie
    • , Heather H. Gustafson
    • , Drew L. Sellers
    • , Una Nattermann
    • , Daniel Ellis
    • , Jacob B. Bale
    • , Sharon Ke
    • , Garreck H. Lenz
    • , Angelica Yehdego
    • , Rashmi Ravichandran
    • , Suzie H. Pun
    • , Neil P. King
    •  & David Baker
  • Research | | open

    Noisy gene expression can cause stochasticity in the expression of plant traits. Here, Araújo et al. use a dual reporter system of protein expression in Arabidopsis to show that expression noise is lowest in stomata relative to other tissues and that leaf cells are coupled with respect to noise.

    • Ilka Schultheiß Araújo
    • , Jessica Magdalena Pietsch
    • , Emma Mathilde Keizer
    • , Bettina Greese
    • , Rachappa Balkunde
    • , Christian Fleck
    •  & Martin Hülskamp
  • Research | | open

    Sexual recombination and mutation rate may play different roles in adaptive evolution depending on the fitness landscape. Here, Peabody et al. examine how the two factors affect the rate of adaptation of an E. coli strain capable of sexual recombination, under different conditions during experimental evolution.

    • George L. Peabody V
    • , Hao Li
    •  & Katy C. Kao

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