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Strategies of Explanatory Abstraction in Molecular Systems Biology

Jones, Nicholaos (2016) Strategies of Explanatory Abstraction in Molecular Systems Biology. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

I consider three explanatory strategies from recent systems biology that are driven by mathematics as much as mechanistic detail. Analysis of differential equations drives the first strategy; topological analysis of network motifs drives the second; mathematical theorems from control engineering drive the third. I also distinguish three abstraction types: aggregations, which simplify by condensing information; generalizations, which simplify by generalizing information; and structurations, which simplify by contextualizing information. Using a common explanandum as reference point—namely, the robust perfect adaptation of chemotaxis in Escherichia coli—I argue that each strategy invokes a different combination of abstraction types and that each targets its abstractions to different mechanistic details.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Jones, Nicholaosnick.jones@uah.edu0000-0003-4928-5089
Keywords: abstraction; explanation; mechanism; systems biology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Nicholaos Jones
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 14:21
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 14:21
Item ID: 12521
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
General Issues > Explanation
Date: November 2016
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12521

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