The concept of systems biology(SB) is old and new: old as its roots in Nobel prize winners' Hodgkin–Huxley model;
new as with the rapid development of computational power, turning it to reality to study and model of complex interactions within biological systems. SB is using a holistic approach (vs the traditional approach: reductionism)
to think, understand and treat cells, tissues, organisms as a system.
The book is well organized in three parts:
1. basic concepts as patterns, principles, general properties of systems
2. system's overview of cells, organisms and ecosystems
3. applications in synthetic biology, brain computing, aging, microbiome, and personalized drug
Some parts I find interesting:
1. Mycoplasmas are the smallest and simplest self-replicating bacteria with only 480 genes. However the Mycoplasma model has about 1,900 parameters. You can imagine how complex and complicated for bigger systems. And the computational power it requires to simulate.
2. When a single cell develops to adulthood, how it decides which cell divide to limb or body?
3. When 86 billions neurons connected as a system, maybe that's our consciousness and creativity comes from.