Current Genetics

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 1–10

Looking beyond the details: a rise in system-oriented approaches in genetics and molecular biology

  • Hiroaki Kitano
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00294-002-0285-z

Cite this article as:
Kitano, H. Curr Genet (2002) 41: 1. doi:10.1007/s00294-002-0285-z


With the ever-increasing flow of high-throughput gene expression, protein interaction and genome sequence data, researchers gradually approach a system-level understanding of cells and even multi-cellular organisms. Systems biology is an emerging field that enables us to achieve in-depth understanding at the system level. For this, we need to establish methodologies and techniques that enable us to understand biological systems as systems, which means to understand: (1) the structure of the system, such as gene/metabolic/signal transduction networks and physical structures, (2) the dynamics of such systems, (3) methods to control systems, and (4) methods to design and modify systems to generate desired properties. However, the meaning of "system-level understanding" is still ambiguous. This paper reviews the current status of the field and outlines future research directions and issues that need to be addressed.

Systems biology Gene network High-throughput measurement Robustness 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Kitano
    • 1
  1. 1.Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc., 3-14-13 Higashi-gotanda, Shinagawa, Tokyo 141-0022, Japan
  2. 2.ERATO Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Suite 6A, M31 6-31-15 Jinguu-mae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001 Japan
  3. 3.The Systems Biology Institute, Suite 6A, M31 6-31-15 Jinguu-mae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001 Japan

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