Reverse Engineering Biological Networks

Edited by Edited by Gustavo Stolovitzky (IBM Computational Biology Center, Yorktown Heights, New York) and Andrea Califano (Columbia University, New York, New York)
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Reverse Engineering Biological Networks

Published: November 2007

Volume 1115

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Computational biologists are striving to \"reverse engineer\" the underlying networks of interactions between the molecules in the cell. The DREAM project brings together a diverse group of researchers to clarify potentials and limitations of the enterprise of reverse engineering cellular networks. An important aspiration of the project is to compare the effectiveness of different methods in reverse engineering biological networks. Evaluating this requires a \"gold standard\" network for which at least the true topology of connections is known. Many participants, especially the computational biologists, believe that synthetic networks are good candidates for this purpose because, at least for now, only they can be described with certainty. Experimental biologists, however, worry that unless the project addresses real biological networks, it could evolve into a mathematical exercise with little impact on biology.