Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Biological Networks

  • Emma Hart
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_178-3



A biological network is an abstract representation of a biological system as a graph in which nodes in the graph represent components in the system (genes, cells, molecules) and links between the nodes represent interactions between components. Links may be weighted to represent strength of interactions. The resulting graph has a particular topology which can be used to understand function.


Recent advances in technology have resulted in an explosion in the amount of data that can be collected from biological systems. Techniques such as mass spectrometry, yeast two-hybrid assays, and other high-throughput methods have enabled significant advances in the identification of components, expression patterns, and interactions within biological systems. Analyzing such vast data sets is challenging. Furthermore, the data sets are often incomplete and perhaps inaccurate. However, by...


Biological network Graph Hub Motif Power law Scale-free network 
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References and Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ComputingEdinburgh Napier UniversityEdinburghUK