It’s been a while between blog posts here on the blog… anything happen since February? I’m now at least belatedly posting link to my interview I did over on the Ronin Institute blog back in August/September with Ronin Research Scholar Michele Battle-Fisher as part of our “Better Know a Ronin Scholar” series. Michele’s fascinating interdisciplinary research spans public health, complex systems and bioethics. We had a wide-ranging conversation, from the failures in our public health system revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic, looking at health systems from a complex systems perspective, and the emerging Black bioethics movement.
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.
“Autocatalytic 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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I have a new post on the Biosystems Analytics blog:
The sad passing of evolutionary computation and genetic algorithm pioneer John H. Holland earlier this week prompted me to think more about how his approach to complex adaptive systems research fits into the biological and biomedical landscape of research of today.