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System Modeling in Cellular BiologyFrom Concepts to Nuts and Bolts$
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Zoltan Szallasi, Jorg Stelling, and Vipul Periwal

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780262195485

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262195485.001.0001

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Complexity and Robustness of Cellular Systems

Complexity and Robustness of Cellular Systems

(p.19) 2 Complexity and Robustness of Cellular Systems
System Modeling in Cellular Biology

Jörg Stelling

Uwe Sauer

Francis J. Doyle

John Doyle

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the connections between cellular complexity and robustness—with robustness requirements being the driving forces for complexity. It begins by describing the sources and types of cellular complexity in more biological detail. It attempts to distinguish the type of complexity present in biological and physical systems by focusing on functional and organizational principles that underlie this complexity at a more abstract level. Next, it explores robustness as a concept for understanding biological function and behavior. This is followed by a discussion of two biological example systems, namely central metabolism and circadian clocks. These examples explain how and why robustness can help in modeling cellular complexity.

Keywords:   biological systems, cellular complexity, robustness, central metabolism, circadian clocks, modeling

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