Living beings maintain steady state despite a complex of processes occurring at various scales, from molecules to organisms. Such a property, called homeostasis, has been known since long, but a full explanation of it is still missing. I propose to view biological systems as a complex of Functional Agents (FA), such as biomolecules, cells or organs, where each FA is controlled upstream by at least one FA, and controls downstream at least one FA. By applying this scheme to each FA, and given a finite number of them, a closed network is obtained, where every FA is involved in at least one loop. I propose the term "loopomics" for this new approach, aimed at disclosing loops based on regulatory relationships among FAs. Progress in knowledge is achieved by establishing connections among different loops, ultimately providing a comprehensive explanation of endlessly self-regulated life processes.
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- systems biology
- Copyright © 2017, Journal of Applied Physiology