SIG Chair: Len Troncale
The new field of Systems Biology uses the vast amounts of reductionist data emerging from comparative panomics to study biological entities as systems (using knowledge of the parts to put Humpty Dumpty back together again). While systems biologists are using recent advances in network theory in their work, and at their conferences, they know little about systems science in general. For example, they are describing a new phenomenon they call “degeneration” but it is actually the same thing as “equifinality” that was described by Bertalanffy in the fifties. Nobel laureate Edelmann in a recent plenary1 remarked that “reductionism is not enough” for the study of these new ideas and a physiology review2 recently criticized current research as “naïve reductionism.”
The development of Systems Biology presents us with major opportunities for capturing funding and proving the worth of systems science by providing knowledge to the natural sciences. Funding levels of $34M to $100M are dedicated to establishing new Centers and Institutes for Systems Biology at major universities such as Harvard, Caltech, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, and the Claremont Colleges. There are already several different Systems Biology international conference series. But to capitalize on these opportunities, systems science must prove that it can provide “value added” insights and practical techniques to the natural sciences. We need exemplars of problems in systems biology that could be solved by application of knowledge gained from systems science and systems pathology.
Presentation Format: This session will accept abstracts for platform presentation or for posters. Presentation format will depend upon numbers of submissions and will be developed by the group by email in the months preceding the meeting.
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