The community of the self

Nature. 2002 Nov 14;420(6912):246-51. doi: 10.1038/nature01260.


Good health, which reflects the harmonious integration of molecules, cells, tissues and organs, is dynamically stable: when displaced by disease, compensation and correction are common, even without medical care. Physiology and computational biology now suggest that healthy dynamic stability arises through the combination of specific feedback mechanisms and spontaneous properties of interconnected networks. Today's physicians are already testing to 'see if the network is right'; tomorrow's physicians may well use therapies to 'make the network right'.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Health*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Organ Failure / physiopathology
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Systems Theory*