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Systematic : How Systems Biology Is Transforming Modern Medicine (Hardcover) (James R. Valcourt)

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SYSTEMATIC is the first book to introduce general readers to systems biology, which is revolutionizing medical research and treatments. In traditional bottom-up biology, a biologist might spend years studying how a single protein works, but systems biology studies how the surrounding biological network or system affects the protein's function--how it promotes health and how to remedy the situation when the protein isn't working properly. As a result, for example, a protein has been identified that grabs lactose to feed E. coli when there isn't enough glucose available to do the job!

Breakthroughs in systems biology became possible only when powerful computer technology enabled researchers to process massive data to study complete systems, and has led to progress in the study of gene regulation and inheritance, cancer drugs personalized to an individual's genetically unique tumor, cancer vaccines, and the discovery that transplanting cells from the gut of a malnourished person into his well-nourished twin's intestinal system causes the healthy person to become malnourished regardless of how well or how much he eats. Much of what we have taken for granted is being revised by systems biology.

In accessible prose, SYSTEMATIC sheds light not only on how systems within the body work, but also how research is yielding new kinds of remedies that enhance and harness the body's own defenses.

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