Meeting Report

Meeting Report: The Future and Limits of Systems Biology

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Science's STKE  05 Apr 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 278, pp. pe16
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2782005pe16

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Report of the meeting "International Conference on Systems Biology," Heidelberg, Germany, 9 to 13 October 2004.


Systems biology has enjoyed explosive growth in both the number of people participating in this area of research and the number of publications on the topic. And yet, the paradigms that underlie the field have not seen a similar expansiveness. Instead, most of these paradigms have been carried over from other fields like engineering, physics, and mathematics. As a result, a small set of concepts dominate the field. The traditional biologist is seen by many as outmoded and tolerated only as a source of data. In this view, the biologist’s ideas may even be considered conceptually and theoretically irrelevant. In this Perspective, we take a critical look at some of the paradigms of systems biology and question whether the biologist’s ideas, methods, and theories have really become outmoded. We see the future of systems biology as a tight coupling of in vivo and in vitro methods for bioengineering with in silico multicellular modeling and simulation.

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