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Living organisms reach a critical stability

Researchers were able to make connections between the theoretical hypotheses on biological systems' universal tendency to retain the balance at the medium degree of stability and data which shows the ability of life to find a middle ground, balancing between robustness and adaptability

The research team consisted of members from Center for Biosocial Complex Systems and School of Earth and Space Exploration. They scrutinized data to better understand the core relations among 67 biological networks that describe how components of systems interact with one another.

The biological networks are sets of individual components (like proteins and genes) that interact with one another to perform important tasks like transmitting signals or deciding a cell's fate. They measured a number of mathematical features, simulating the networks' behavior and looking for patterns to provide clues on what made them so special.

The number of components in these networks varied from 5 nodes to 321 nodes, covering 6500 diverse biological interactions. And these nodes include many of life's key building blocks like genes and proteins that act as master switches controlling cell division, growth and death, and communication.

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