An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

An Introduction to Systems Biology

Design Principles of Biological Circuits, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Uri Alon

Chapman and Hall/CRC

360 pages

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Written for students and researchers in systems biology, the second edition of this best-selling textbook continues to offer a clear presentation of design principles that govern the structure and behavior of biological networks, highlighting simple, recurring circuit elements that make up the regulation of cells and tissues. Rigorously classroom-tested, it contains new additions as well as corrections and revisions for better flow. This edition includes seven new chapters on exciting advances made in the last decade, and over double the number of exercises.


Praise for the First Edition

"[This text deserves] serious attention from any quantitative scientist or physicist who hopes to learn about modern biology. … the author succeeds in explaining in an intellectually exciting way what the cell does and what degrees of freedom enable it to function. … He draws the detailed strands together into an appealing and inspiring overview of biology. … Alon’s book should become a standard part of the training of graduate students in biological physics… ."

—Nigel Goldenfeld, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Physics Today, June 2007

"…a superb, beautifully written and organized work that takes an engineering approach to systems biology. … He does an excellent job of explaining and motivating a useful toolbox of engineering models and methods using network-based controls. … a valuable and non-overlapping addition to a systems-biology curriculum."

—Eric Werner, University of Oxford, Nature, Vol. 446, No. 29, March 2007

"I read Uri Alon’s elegant book almost without stopping for breath. He perceives and explains so many simple regularities, so clearly, that the novice reading this book can move on immediately to research literature, armed with a grasp of the many connections between diverse phenomena."

—Philip Nelson, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

"… Beyond simply recounting recent results, Alon boldly articulates the basic principles underlying biological circuitry at different levels and shows how powerful they can be in understanding the complexity of living cells. For anyone who wants to understand how a living cell works, but thought they never would, this book is essential."

—Michael B. Elowitz, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA

"Uri Alon offers a highly original perspective on systems biology, emphasizing the function of certain simple networks that appear as ubiquitous building blocks of living matter. …"

—Boris Shraiman, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

"This is a remarkable book that introduces not only a field but a way of thinking. Uri Alon describes in an elegant, simple way how principles such as stability, robustness and optimal design can be used to analyze and understand the evolution and behavior of living organisms. Alon’s clear intuitive language and helpful examples offer — even to a mathematically naive reader — deep mathematical insights into biology. The community has been waiting for this book; it was worth the wait."

—Galit Lahav, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Table of Contents

Part One: Network Motifs

Chapter 1. Transcription Networks basic concepts

Chapter 2. Autoregulation

Chapter 3. The Feed Forward Loop

Chapter 4. Temporal Programs and the Global Structure of Transcription Networks

Chapter 5. Positive Feedback, Bistability and Memory

Chapter 6. How to Build a Biological Oscillator

Part Two: Robustness

Chapter 7. Kinetic Proofreading and Conformational Proofreading

Chapter 8. Robust Signalling

Chapter 9. Chemotaxis

Chapter 10. Fold-change Detection

Chapter 11. Dynamical Compensation and Mutal Resistance in Tissues

Chapter 12. Robust Spatial Patterning in Development.

Part Three: Optimality

Chapter 13. Optimal Gene Circuit Design

Chapter14. Multi-objective Optimality in Biology

Chapter 15. Modularity

About the Author

Prof. Uri Alon is at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science

About the Series

Chapman & Hall/CRC Mathematical and Computational Biology

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / General
SCIENCE / Biotechnology
SCIENCE / Physics