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There is a revolution occurring in the biological sciences, just starting few years ago but now clearly visible in the scientific literature. It is widely recognized that this revolution is followed by the birth of a new discipline: the Systems Biology. Systems biology is the study of an organism, viewed as an integrated and interacting network of genes, proteins and biochemical reactions which give rise to life. Instead of analyzing individual components or aspects of the organism, systems biologists focus on all the components and the interactions among them, all as part of one system. However, the system’s dynamics cannot be reduced to only the integrated functioning of the genome–proteome network, and the cell–stroma interacting system must be taken into consideration in order to give a more reliable picture. Moreover, as cell form represents the spatial geometric configuration shaped by an integrated set of cellular and environmental cues participating in biological functions control, it is conceivable that fractal-shape parameters could be considered as ‘‘omics’’ descriptors of the cell–stroma system, in addition to the computerized profiles of interacting pathways.
Systems biology allows an ever-increasing number of biological problems to be approached and solved with new techniques and theoretical concepts that unify hitherto separate areas of biology. In the meantime, methods and concepts of systems biology are likely to have repercussions in and inspire other sciences.