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Cover Introduction to Bioinformatics

Introduction to systems biology  

This chapter describes systems biology. The key idea of systems biology is integration. Indeed, an initial goal of systems biology is to identify the active networks in cells, organisms, and ecosystems, and to understand the properties of their components and the interactions among them. The integrated activities of components of cells depend on networks of interactions. The chapter then looks at the general features of graphs, and the representation of networks by graphs. It considers which kinds of biological interaction patterns can profitably be thought of as networks. The chapter also identifies the distinction between static and dynamic properties of networks, before assessing the concepts of entropy and complexity and how to apply them to biological data. Finally, it outlines the properties of the Burrows-Wheeler transform and its applications.