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Integrative approaches to biology in the twenty-first century

Part 3. Proteomics

3.8. Systems Biology

Introductory Review

  1. Marvin Cassman

Published Online: 15 JAN 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047001153X.g308104

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Cassman, M. 2005. Integrative approaches to biology in the twenty-first century. Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics. 3:3.8:107.

Author Information

  1. Consultant, San Francisco, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2005

Abstract

Systems or integrative biology has become wildly popular in just the past few years. (The two terms will be used interchangeably to refer to the quantitative analysis of biological networks, at whatever level of organization.) The reason is clear – the volume of experimental data generated by genomics and other high-throughput techniques pose both a problem and an opportunity. The problem is that the mass of data overwhelms the ability to intuitively understand it. The opportunity is that the data may be able to be manipulated in a manner that allows for an unprecedented understanding of the integrated behavior of biological systems. The mechanistic studies that have generated an amazing ability to decipher the molecular workings of individual biological molecules can now be linked to computational approaches, which will illuminate the functions of tightly coupled and highly regulated biological systems. At the end, the processes underlying health and disease will be understood in greater depth than has previously been possible. This article will discuss some of the questions currently facing investigators attempting to move this discipline forward, with a particular emphasis on the concepts of modularity and robustness.

Keywords:

  • systems biology;
  • integrative biology;
  • biological modeling;
  • quantitative modeling;
  • biological modules;
  • biological robustness