Metabolic networks: biology meets engineering sciences
A hallmark of systems biology is the interdisciplinary approach to the complexity of biological systems, in which mathematical modeling constitutes an important part. Here, we use the example of sugar metabolism in the simple bacterium Escherichia coli and its associated control to illustrate the process of model development. Even for this well-characterized biological system, a close interaction between experimentation and theoretical analysis revealed novel, unexpected features. Additionally, the example shows how concepts from engineering sciences can facilitate the formal investigation of biological networks. More generally, we argue that analogies between complex biological and technical systems such as modular structures and common design principles provide crystallization points for fruitful research in both domains.
KeywordsMetabolic Network Intracellular Glucose Diauxic Growth Lactose Permease Lactose Operon
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