The branch of biology that uses computational techniques to analyze and model how the components of a biological system such as a cell or organism interact with each other to produce the characteristics and behavior of that system.
A biological system is a complex network of biologically relevant entities. A biological system is not to be confused with a living system, such as a living organism.
- Respiratory system
- Digestive system
- Cardiovascular system
- Urinary system
- Integumentary system
- Skeletal system
- Endocrine system
- Lymphatic system
- Immune system
- Nervous system
- Muscular system
- Reproductive system
A biological system, sometimes simply referred to as a system, is a group of entities or organs that work together to carry out a particular task. It is a biological unit of the body or of an organism. In a micro-level (such as in bacteria and microscopic eukaryotes), a biological system pertains to the macromolecular complexes or organelles within the cell.
Complex biological processes can be understood from the structures and properties of specific molecules that are the building blocks of living organisms. The Physics of Biological Systems research program seeks to explain biology from precise physical descriptions of how individual molecules work together like tiny machines to produce specific biological functions. To do this, we identify specific molecules involved in biological processes, determine their molecular structures and interactions using highly precise and sensitive physical instruments and techniques that are able to monitor the structure, dynamics and properties of biomolecules, and are able to view and manipulate single molecules and to measure their behavior. Bioinformatics and systems biology uses computer methods to analyze biological data.
Bioinformatics is a field of research focusing on computational analysis of biological data. It is an essential competence, as almost all biomedical research today involves the use of bioinformatics.
In contrast to the past focus on single genes or proteins, systems biology is a field of research which focuses on understanding entire biological systems such as protein complexes, metabolic pathways, or gene regulatory networks.
The Bioinformatics and Systems Biology study program is highly interdisciplinary, combining knowledge from fields such as molecular biology, genetics, computer science, mathematics, and statistics.
The main objective of Systems biology and Bioinformatics unit is to discover new molecular mechanisms using an iterative cycle that starts with experimental data, followed by data analysis and data integration to determine correlations between concentrations of molecules, and ends with the formulation of hypotheses concerning co- and inter-regulation of groups of those molecules. These hypotheses then predict new correlations, which can be tested in new rounds of experiments or by further biochemical analyses. The major strengths of the approach are that it is potentially complete (genome-wide) and that it addresses the genome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome and fluxome.