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    Systems biology has provided a new angle to examine the biological world in terms of networks.  As a consequence, a large amount of research has been focusing on the structure/topology of networks.  However, the reason why they have such structures remains obscure.  Is it one of the inherent/intrinsic characters of networks?  Has evolution helped shape it, either in terms of global genome-scale networks (e.g. protein-protein interaction networks), or smaller-scale organizations (e.g. modules)?  
    Here, the Isalan et al. paper examined the effect of random genetic changes on the transcription regulatory network by artificially adding links.  Astonishingly, it seemed like that the modified networks did not influence the viability of E. coli severely, at least over a short time period.


    Isalan M, Lemerle C, Michalodimitrakis K, Horn C, Beltrao P, et al. 2008. Evolvability and hierarchy in rewired bacterial gene networks. Nature 452:840-U2  PDF



    Other papers on network evolution

    Knight CG, Zitzmann N, Prabhakar S, Antrobus R, Dwek R, et al. 2006. Unraveling adaptive evolution: how a single point mutation affects the protein coregulation network. Nature Genetics 38:1015-22  PDF

    Jordan IK, Katz LS, Denver DR, Streelman JT. 2008. Natural selection governs local, but not global, evolutionary gene coexpression networks in Caenorhabditis elegans. BMC Systems Biology 2  PDF

    Braun P, Carvunis AR, Charloteaux B, Dreze M, Ecker JR, et al. 2011. Evidence for network evolution in an Arabidopsis interactome map. Science 333:601-7  Link



    Andreas Wagner. 2003. Does selection mold molecular networks?  Science STKE 202: 41-43  PDF

    Knight CG, Pinney JW. 2009. Making the right connections: biological networks in the light of evolution. Bioessays 31:1080-90  PDF             

    Bard J. 2010. A systems biology view of evolutionary genetics. Bioessays 32:559-63  Link




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