Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(4), 1658-1669; doi:10.3390/ijms10041658
Communication

Origins of Systems Biology in William Harvey’s Masterpiece on the Movement of the Heart and the Blood in Animals

1,* email and 2email
Received: 20 March 2009; in revised form: 13 April 2009 / Accepted: 14 April 2009 / Published: 17 April 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular System Bioenergetics)
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Abstract: In this article we continue our exploration of the historical roots of systems biology by considering the work of William Harvey. Central arguments in his work on the movement of the heart and the circulation of the blood can be shown to presage the concepts and methods of integrative systems biology. These include: (a) the analysis of the level of biological organization at which a function (e.g. cardiac rhythm) can be said to occur; (b) the use of quantitative mathematical modelling to generate testable hypotheses and deduce a fundamental physiological principle (the circulation of the blood) and (c) the iterative submission of his predictions to an experimental test. This article is the result of a tri-lingual study: as Harvey’s masterpiece was published in Latin in 1628, we have checked the original edition and compared it with and between the English and French translations, some of which are given as notes to inform the reader of differences in interpretation.
Keywords: William Harvey; heart rhythm; circulation of the blood; mathematical deduction: experimental verification; systems biology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Auffray, C.; Noble, D. Origins of Systems Biology in William Harvey’s Masterpiece on the Movement of the Heart and the Blood in Animals. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 1658-1669.

AMA Style

Auffray C, Noble D. Origins of Systems Biology in William Harvey’s Masterpiece on the Movement of the Heart and the Blood in Animals. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2009; 10(4):1658-1669.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Auffray, Charles; Noble, Denis. 2009. "Origins of Systems Biology in William Harvey’s Masterpiece on the Movement of the Heart and the Blood in Animals." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 10, no. 4: 1658-1669.


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