The theory of COMPLEXITY applied to immunology

John D. Valentich shark at sam.neosoft.com
Thu Feb 23 10:53:47 EST 1995


>>         I'm a French student having some knowledges both in biology and in
>> physics (rather than in English alas),
>> and I've just read a recent book called "The theory of complexity - life at
>> the edge of chaos" by the well-known scientific journalist Roger Lewin. I'm
>> studying dynamic systems and have found that this book is mere genius ;
>> moreover, its applications in biology, especially embryogenesis, evolution
>> and last but not least, immunology are certainly very wide and very=
>>  important.
>>          It's a REALLY SIMPLE book so don't hesitate reading it. It's
>> fascinating ! I have some ideas about some applications in immunology and
>> would greatly appreciate any comment and discussion on that topic.
>> 
>>         Perhap I should give you a short summary : the book deals with the
>> evolution of complex systems (such as the immune net !) and about the
>> auto-organisation (in life for example) ;
>> - complex systems tend to come on the edge of chaos (the place where the
>> greatest information can be exchanged).
>> - complex systems evolve toward "attracteurs =E9tranges" as Mandelbrot named
>> them. Have a look to embryogenesis !
>> 
>> expecting (hoping)  answers soon,
>> Dave (dkarlin at messel.emse.fr)

>> evolution of complex systems (such as the immune net !) and about the
>> auto-organisation (in life for example) ;
>> - complex systems tend to come on the edge of chaos (the place where the
>> greatest information can be exchanged).
>> - complex systems evolve toward "attracteurs =E9tranges" as Mandelbrot named
>> them. Have a look to embryogenesis !
>> 
>> expecting (hoping)  answers soon,
>> Dave (dkarlin at messel.emse.fr)

There is a new email list in the process of being set up which will deal 
with complexity in biological systems.  This list evolved from
discussions at the recent Keystone conference on genetic networks in Santa Fe.
To be notified when the list is available for subscription send email to:

Dr. Delwood L. Richardson, del at helix.nih.gov         

Once the list is running a collection of Internet resources for those interested in complexity
 will be posted.  But in reference to this specific question I can provide the 
following pointers for information about complexity and immunology:

1.  Check out the Santa Fe Insitute WWW Site:

http://www/santafe/edu/

2.  Browse the list of SFI Working Papers and see what interests you.  There are several immunlogy-related papers:

http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/94wplist/94wplist.html

3.  Have a look at the ANU Complexity home page:

http://life.anu.edu.au/complex_systems/complex.html

4.  See David Green's paper: Emergent Behaviour in Biological Systems:

http://www.csu.edu.au/ci/vol1/David.Green/paper.html

5.  Go the the BITMed home page for work on immunology simulations:

http://bitmed.ucsd.edu/index.html

6.  Go the the library and look up:

Celada and Seiden, Imm Today 13:56 '92
Seiden and Celada. J Theoret Biol 158:329 '92
Varela and Coutinho, Imm Today 12:159 '91

7.  Subscribe to the theoretical immunology mail list Immune-net:

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