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How does the sub-system affect the whole system?

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Posted at 2013-9-27 14:40:31 | All floors |Read mode
If our heart beat get disordered or our stomach is sick, how could our body adjust itself to prevent from all going wrong? For cells, the question is: how do local changes affect the whole system?

Such problem can be defined as a dynamic system of several dimensions, the system has some sub-networks ( which could be written as certain variables that form a lower-dimension space) that realize sub-functions. For example, one of the sub-network is excitable, how could the whole system prevent from being stimulated by one stimulation on that sub-network or how could the whole system be easily stimulated by the action taken on the sub-network ?  
There might be some special topologies that fulfill each function. And I wonder whether there could be some more interesting and detailed questions related to this topic in biology?

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Posted at 2013-9-28 20:30:11 | All floors
Actually, one question we always asked in discussing yeast gene regulatory network and sub-systems are: since almost everything are connected in this huge network, are these sub-modules real existence, or just artifacts originated from our implement understanding of the network?
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 Author| Posted at 2013-9-30 03:29:33 | All floors
zhiyuanli Posted at 2013-9-28 20:30
Actually, one question we always asked in discussing yeast gene regulatory network and sub-systems a ...

It depends on how we view this system, and all models are kind of "artifacts originated from our implement understanding of the network", in my opinion.

Even if we do not consider this subjective question, just consider the whole system as artifacts originated from our implement understanding of the network, the relationship between the lower dimensions and the whole system is still worth asking.

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Posted at 2013-10-2 07:16:04 | All floors
zhiyuanli Posted at 2013-9-28 20:30
Actually, one question we always asked in discussing yeast gene regulatory network and sub-systems a ...

I agree withyou. Sometimes sub-systems may be not necessary for our bodies.Compared with the theory that our bodies are composed ofseveral relatively independent modules, my viewpoint is thatindividual life is made up of cell and its surroundings. A cell receives thesignals from environment and regulates its own life. Once it is in a mess,peripheral cells will sense the condition it brought and take suitable actions.
I think this simplesystem is enough.

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Posted at 2013-10-15 12:36:53 | All floors
I really like the idea in the last discussion, that we use network module, rather than individual variables, to work as the "basic elements" of the whole network to simplify the problem. Here, since the input/output relation between modules is usually complex, one may need Functional instead of functions for plot the pseudo-Nullclines.

Did any know some researchers did similar works before?
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