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Systems 2014, 2(2), 237-242; doi:10.3390/systems2020237
Communication

Networks as a Privileged Way to Develop Mesoscopic Level Approaches in Systems Biology

Environment and Health Department, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Roma, Italy
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 21 May 2014 / Accepted: 28 May 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
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Abstract

The methodologies advocated in computational biology are in many cases proper system-level approaches. These methodologies are variously connected to the notion of “mesosystem” and thus on the focus on relational structures that are at the basis of biological regulation. Here, I describe how the formalization of biological systems by means of graph theory constitutes an extremely fruitful approach to biology. I suggest the epistemological relevance of the notion of graph resides in its multilevel character allowing for a natural “middle-out” causation making largely obsolete the traditional opposition between “top-down” and “bottom-up” styles of reasoning, so fulfilling the foundation dream of systems science of a direct link between systems analysis and the underlying physical reality.
Keywords: bioinformatics; graph theory; chemistry; molecular biology; systems analysis bioinformatics; graph theory; chemistry; molecular biology; systems analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Giuliani, A. Networks as a Privileged Way to Develop Mesoscopic Level Approaches in Systems Biology. Systems 2014, 2, 237-242.

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