ISB News

Systems Biology 101: Network of Networks

(Illustration above is cropped.)

With networks we can organize and integrate information at different levels. Social networks have transformed communications in the 21st Century, democratizing our platforms for communications. At ISB we are also concerned with networks. One of the tenets of systems biology we often refer to is the “Network of Networks.” On a biological level, our bodies are made up of many networks that are integrated at and communicating on multiple scales. From our genome to the molecules and cells that makeup the organs in our bodies all the way out to ourselves in our world: we are fundamentally a network of networks. Systems biology looks at these networks across scales to integrate behaviors at different levels, to formulate hypotheses for biological function and to provide spatial and temporal insights into dynamical biological changes. It is not enough to understand only one part of a system when studying the complexity of biology. Therefore the framework of the “Network of Networks” provides meaningful insight into understanding how systems biology’s approach is different, more integrated and more capable of analyzing and predicting state transitions in biological systems.

Network of Networks

Depiction of ISB’s Network of Networks

Recent Articles

  • Dr. Jim Heath

    ISB Marking 20th Anniversary with Year-Long Celebration

    Letter from the president: Dr. Jim Heath announces the kickoff of a 2020 celebration marking ISB’s 20th anniversary. The year-long celebration will include an ISB-Town Hall Seattle speaker series focusing on some of the most important topics in science and health care.

  • A Scientist-Approved Science-Themed Holiday Gift Guide

    When putting together a science-themed gift guide, you have to go to the source. So we asked ISB’s researchers for their ideas and to share what’s on their lists. Whether you’re buying for a scientist or wanting to give the gift of science, this gift guide is for you.

  • How Old Are You? Your Body Might Disagree With That Answer

    Researchers at ISB harnessed deep molecular and physiological information to determine an individual’s biological age, which they found was reflective of overall health compared to chronological age. The findings were published in the Journals of Gerontology: Series A.