Gut check: autocatalytic sets meets systems biology

Biosystems Analytics

A truly systems view of life must account for the remarkable property that cells maintain and reconstitute themselves in the face of a constant turnover of chemical and molecular components.  Much research done under the rubric of systems biology rarely tackles this thorny dynamical problem directly, tending to largely focus on modeling of individual elements or pathways, or examining genome-wide, generally static, patterns.  Partly this is due to the sheer complexity of even the simplest cell, partly because the data is still sparse, and partly because many of the theoretical constructs are not easily accessible or intuitive to most biologists.

wpid-wp-1443203318157.jpegAutocatalytic sets” are one of several systems-level models developed to explain both the self-maintenance phenomenon and have also been used as possible models for the origin of life, having been introduced several decades ago by Stuart Kauffman.   These concepts and models but have been extended considerably…

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