Grip on complexity in chemical reaction networks.

Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry
Albert S Y Wong, Wilhelm T S Huck


A new discipline of "systems chemistry" is emerging, which aims to capture the complexity observed in natural systems within a synthetic chemical framework. Living systems rely on complex networks of chemical reactions to control the concentration of molecules in space and time. Despite the enormous complexity in biological networks, it is possible to identify network motifs that lead to functional outputs such as bistability or oscillations. To truly understand how living systems function, we need a complete understanding of how chemical reaction networks (CRNs) create function. We propose the development of a bottom-up approach to design and construct CRNs where we can follow the influence of single chemical entities on the properties of the network as a whole. Ultimately, this approach should allow us to not only understand such complex networks but also to guide and control their behavior.


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