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living systems

Thursday 30 September 2004

biological system


Definition: The biological systems are systems intervening in life and biological processes.

A system is a set of interacting or interdependent component parts forming a complex/intricate whole.

Every system is delineated by its spatial and temporal boundaries, surrounded and influenced by its environment, described by its structure and purpose and expressed in its functioning.

They are studied by systems science.

A biological system is a complex network of biologically relevant entities.

As biological organization spans several scales, examples of biological systems are populations of organisms, or on the organ- and tissue scale in mammals and other animals, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, etc.

On the micro- to the nanoscopic scale, examples of biological systems are cells, organelles, macromolecular complexes and regulatory pathways.

A biological system is not to be confused with a living system, which is commonly referred to as life.

See also

- biological network
-  physiology
- systems science
- systems


- BioD, a visual language for describing, documenting and analyzing the functions of complex biological systems


- Kerszberg M. Noise, delays, robustness, canalization and all that. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Aug;14(4):440-5. PMID: 15261662