Genome and Systems Biology
Organisms are complex systems with thousands of components; even a single cell has at least as many parts as a modern car. Research in the biological sciences has focused on simplifying this complexity to characterize individual factors of interacting components to reconstruct the process in vitro from purified components.
Today we can identify all relevant components and measure their interactions with high throughput technologies. Genome biology traces the evolution, regulation, repair and DNA rearrangements on a genome-wide scale, rather than characterizing the activity of a single gene or DNA repair event. Systems biology is characterized by a synergy between experiment and computer science with the goal to derive computer simulations (models) of the system that can predict responses. The idea is that by modeling interactions system-wide in a quantitative manner, we obtain a deeper understanding of the underlying principles and can hope that this will hold true even beyond the conditions used to define these parameters. This in silico reconstitution thus corresponds to the traditional biochemical reconstitution with purified components.