A reductionist's systems biology: opinion

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2005 Feb;17(1):9-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2004.12.012.


To tackle the complexity inherent in understanding large networks of interacting biomolecules, systems biology emphasizes cybernetic and systems theoretical approaches. The resulting focus on organization independent of physical manifestation threatens to throw away all that has been learned from molecular studies and ignores the reality that biologists are drawn together more by a shared interest in mechanism and structure than anything else. The field of reaction engineering suggests a reductionist approach to systems biology that fits easily within existing molecular paradigms but that can nonetheless be integrated into expansive physiological perspectives through the use of multi-scale modeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Molecular Biology / methods
  • Software
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Systems Biology
  • Systems Theory