Member # 1
posted 30. April 2002 19:04
Science April 26, 2002.
Abstract: Human disease phenotypes are controlled not only by genes but by lawful self-organizing networks that display system-wide dynamics. These networks range from metabolic pathways to signaling pathways that regulate hormone action. When perturbed, networks alter their output of matter and energy which, depending on the environmental context, can produce either a pathological or a normal phenotype. Study of the dynamics of these networks by approaches such as metabolic control analysis may provide new insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of complex diseases.
[An excerpt from the paper]
Molecular biology has shown that in the progression from genotype to phenotype, many levels of control are introduced. Each control level is defined by a dynamic system of self-organizing proteins, the output of which is governed by laws that are still poorly understood. Polanyi illustrated his concept of levels of control with a metaphor from the game of chess:
"The strategy of the player imposes boundaries on the several moves which follow the laws of chess, but our interest [in experimental biology] lies in the boundaries, that is, in the strategy, not in the several moves as exemplifications of the laws."
[ 30 April 2002, 19:06: Message edited by: Moderator ]