Systems Biology, Holism and Reductionism

A new paper, “So what do we really mean when we say that systems biology is holistic?” [1] discusses the relationship between holism, reductionism and systems biology. Although the author does provide a historical overview of various interpretations of ‘holism’ and ‘reductionism’, the end result remains: a lack of clarity, … Continue reading

Crick’s Central Dogma and Closed Causal Loops

A recent article in the Journal of Biology, entitled “Small changes, big results: evolution of morphological discontinuity in mammals” [1], discusses how significant phenotypic changes appear to often be the result of variations of gene expression due to regulatory controls, instead of as a direct result of the primary sequence … Continue reading

3-D Microscopy of Living Organisms

Published online in Nature Methods today [doi:10.1038/nmeth1078]: Tomographic phase microscopy We report a technique for quantitative three-dimensional (3D) mapping of refractive index in live cells and tissues using a phase-shifting laser interferometric microscope with variable illumination angle. We demonstrate tomographic imaging of cells and multicellular organisms, and time-dependent changes in cell … Continue reading

Can a nematode fit in a computer?

As reported in the Economist: As he told “The next 10 years”, a conference organised by Microsoft Research in Cambridge, England, Dr Harel has been working on a computer model of C. elegans. He hopes this will reveal exactly how pluripotent stem cells—those capable of becoming any sort of mature … Continue reading

Kercel – chapters in “Systems Biology: Principles, Methods and Concepts”

From an October 2006 post by Steve Kercel on the ROSEN-L discussion list: Many of the issues that you have been discussing are addressed in Systems Biology: Principles, Methods, and Concepts edited by Andrzej Konopka, ISBN: 0824725204 published by CRC. …. I have two chapters in the book. One discusses … Continue reading