Systems Biology - March 2013

Front cover: Figure 1 from Chin et al (2012) FEBS J 279: 1119–1130; Figure 1 from Du Preez et al (2012) FEBS J 279: 2823–2836

Published: 1 March 2013

Papers selected by Ursula Kummer

Systems biology aims at the understanding of complex cellular networks as a whole. For this purpose, one has to examine the interplay of various components, resulting in a quantitative and dynamic picture of the processes occurring in a living cell. This is almost impossible without the aid of computational methods, particularly modeling, which are therefore core ingredients in all systems biology research. This computational approach is particularly successful in biochemistry. Many computational methods that are commonly used in systems biology originate from the study of metabolic pathways and are now applied to signal transduction systems and genetic networks. Thus, it is not surprising that FEBS Journal, with a long tradition of publishing biochemical research papers, was an early supporter of the emerging field of systems biology.

Over the years, many original articles and reviews of systems biology have been published in FEBS Journal. Last year, in conjunction with the International Conference on Systems Biology 2011 – the largest systems biology conference so far – FEBS Journal published a Special Issue of systems biology papers resulting from the advanced studies reported at this conference.

This Virtual Issue contains a variety of systems biology papers, with special emphasis on those published in 2011 and 2012. Many of the selected studies exemplify the successful integration of quantitative experimentation and computational modeling applied to systems as diverse as signalling pathways and metabolic networks, cell division and growth. In addition, advances in methodology – both experimental and computational – are highlighted in some articles. These research articles are complemented by a series of reviews which either survey specific research topics or provide a general overview of the field. We hope the Virtual Issue will encourage authors to submit high quality original papers and reviews in systems biology to FEBS Journal.

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