Epistemological Approaches on Systemic and Synthetic Biology



The classical literature in the field of biology approaches the field of life from the perspective of the mechanisms by which the interactions between living systems are managed, while the systemic approach to biology emphasizes the interconnected networks of living nodes and the ways of communication of living systems, which is the very foundation of the idea of live as exchange of information on material or energetic support. More concretely, the emphasis on the informational dimension of biological interactions transfers the research object of synthetic biology from questions regarding the functionality of living systems, to those related to the ways of encoding information inside living structures that allow their configuration and reconfiguration in different evolutionary or constructive – in the case of synthetic biology – contexts. The analysis of the living system as a whole, from a structural-constructive perspective, takes from the systems theory a series of models for understanding the whole as something other than a simple aggregation of the component parts, emphasizing the integrity of the living system in a manner close to the systems approach in the science of complexity.


systemic biology; synthetic biology; epistemology

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