Network Medicine

Life’s complexity pyramid

Cells and microorganisms have an impressive capacity for adjusting their intracellular machinery in response to changes in their environment, food availability, and developmental state. Add to this an amazing ability to correct internal errors — battling the effects of such mistakes as mutations or misfolded proteins — and we arrive at a major issue of contemporary cell biology: our need to comprehend the staggering complexity, versatility, and robustness of living systems. Although molecular biology offers many spectacular successes, it is clear that the detailed inventory of genes, proteins, and metabolites is not sufficient to understand the cell’s complexity (1). As demonstrated by two papers in this issue—Lee et al. (2) on page 799 and Milo et al. (3) on page 824—viewing the cell as a network of genes and proteins offers a viable strategy for addressing the complexity of living systems.


More publications
Deisy Morselli Gysi, Ítalo do Valle, Marinka Zitnik, Asher Ameli, Xiao Gan, Onur Varol, Susan Dina Ghiassian, J. J. Patten, Robert A. Davey, Joseph Loscalzo, and Albert-László Barabási

PNAS May 11, 2021 118 (19) e2025581118

Italo F. do Valle, Harvey G. Roweth, Michael W. Malloy, Sofia Moco, Denis Barron, Elisabeth Battinelli, Joseph Loscalzo & Albert-László Barabási

Nature Food volume 2, pages143–155(2021)

Soodabeh Milanlouei, Giulia Menichetti, Yanping Li, Joseph Loscalzo, Walter C. Willett & Albert-László Barabási

Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 6074 (2020)