Living systems, particularly multicellular systems, often seem hopelessly complex. But recent studies have suggested that, beneath this complexity, there may be unifying quantitative principles that are only now starting to unravel. All cells interact with their environments and with other cells. Communication among cells is a primary means for cells to interact with each other. The complexity of these multicellular systems, due to the large numbers of cells and the diversity of intracellular and intercellular interactions, makes understanding multicellular systems a daunting task. To overcome this challenge, we will likely need judicious simplifications and conceptual frameworks, which can reveal design principles that are shared among diverse multicellular systems. Here we review some recent progress toward developing such frameworks.
Bibliographical noteAccepted Author Manuscript
- Multicellular systems
- Cell-cell communication
- Quantitative design principles
- Cellular Networks
- Biological Complexity
- Cell Signaling