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Collective motions and specific effectors: a statistical mechanics perspective on biological regulation.

Giuliani A - BMC Genomics (2010)

Bottom Line: This will allow to both obtain a general frame of reference for rationalizing the burden of data coming from high throughput technologies and to derive effective operational views on biological systems.The network paradigm in which microscopic level elements (nodes) are each other related by functional links so giving rise to both global (entire network) and local (specific) behavior is a promising metaphor to try and develop a statistical mechanics inspired approach for biological systems.The need to complement the purely molecular view with mesoscopic approaches is evident in all the studied examples that in turn demonstrate the untenability of the simple ergodic approach dominant in molecular biology in which the data coming from huge ensemble of cells are considered as relative to a single 'average' cell.

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Affiliation: Environment and Health Department, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, Roma, Italy. alessandro.giuliani@iss.it

ABSTRACT

Background: The interaction of a multiplicity of scales in both time and space is a fundamental feature of biological systems. The complementation of macroscopic (entire organism) and microscopic (molecular biology) views with a mesoscopic level of analysis able to connect the different planes of investigation is urgently needed. This will allow to both obtain a general frame of reference for rationalizing the burden of data coming from high throughput technologies and to derive effective operational views on biological systems.

Results: The network paradigm in which microscopic level elements (nodes) are each other related by functional links so giving rise to both global (entire network) and local (specific) behavior is a promising metaphor to try and develop a statistical mechanics inspired approach for biological systems. Here we show the application of this paradigm to different systems going from yeast metabolism to murine macrophages response to immune stimulation.

Conclusions: The need to complement the purely molecular view with mesoscopic approaches is evident in all the studied examples that in turn demonstrate the untenability of the simple ergodic approach dominant in molecular biology in which the data coming from huge ensemble of cells are considered as relative to a single 'average' cell.

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A simplified schema of a dipole gas is reported: in the absence of an external field the dipoles only display local order with a statistical tendency of opposite polarities to come close each other (panel a). In panels b) and c) an increasingly powerful external field acts on the system inducing a global order of the dipoles.
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Figure 4: A simplified schema of a dipole gas is reported: in the absence of an external field the dipoles only display local order with a statistical tendency of opposite polarities to come close each other (panel a). In panels b) and c) an increasingly powerful external field acts on the system inducing a global order of the dipoles.

Mentions: This kind of systems (Figure 4) can collectively respond to externally applied stimuli (e.g. electromagnetic fields) acting as order parameters so acquiring information processing capabilities [18].


Collective motions and specific effectors: a statistical mechanics perspective on biological regulation.

Giuliani A - BMC Genomics (2010)

A simplified schema of a dipole gas is reported: in the absence of an external field the dipoles only display local order with a statistical tendency of opposite polarities to come close each other (panel a). In panels b) and c) an increasingly powerful external field acts on the system inducing a global order of the dipoles.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2822530&req=5

Figure 4: A simplified schema of a dipole gas is reported: in the absence of an external field the dipoles only display local order with a statistical tendency of opposite polarities to come close each other (panel a). In panels b) and c) an increasingly powerful external field acts on the system inducing a global order of the dipoles.
Mentions: This kind of systems (Figure 4) can collectively respond to externally applied stimuli (e.g. electromagnetic fields) acting as order parameters so acquiring information processing capabilities [18].

Bottom Line: This will allow to both obtain a general frame of reference for rationalizing the burden of data coming from high throughput technologies and to derive effective operational views on biological systems.The network paradigm in which microscopic level elements (nodes) are each other related by functional links so giving rise to both global (entire network) and local (specific) behavior is a promising metaphor to try and develop a statistical mechanics inspired approach for biological systems.The need to complement the purely molecular view with mesoscopic approaches is evident in all the studied examples that in turn demonstrate the untenability of the simple ergodic approach dominant in molecular biology in which the data coming from huge ensemble of cells are considered as relative to a single 'average' cell.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Environment and Health Department, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, Roma, Italy. alessandro.giuliani@iss.it

ABSTRACT

Background: The interaction of a multiplicity of scales in both time and space is a fundamental feature of biological systems. The complementation of macroscopic (entire organism) and microscopic (molecular biology) views with a mesoscopic level of analysis able to connect the different planes of investigation is urgently needed. This will allow to both obtain a general frame of reference for rationalizing the burden of data coming from high throughput technologies and to derive effective operational views on biological systems.

Results: The network paradigm in which microscopic level elements (nodes) are each other related by functional links so giving rise to both global (entire network) and local (specific) behavior is a promising metaphor to try and develop a statistical mechanics inspired approach for biological systems. Here we show the application of this paradigm to different systems going from yeast metabolism to murine macrophages response to immune stimulation.

Conclusions: The need to complement the purely molecular view with mesoscopic approaches is evident in all the studied examples that in turn demonstrate the untenability of the simple ergodic approach dominant in molecular biology in which the data coming from huge ensemble of cells are considered as relative to a single 'average' cell.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus