Systems biology is a rapidly expanding fi eld that integrates diverse areas of science such as physics, engineering, computer science, mathematics, and biology toward the goal of elucidating the underlying principles of hierarchical metabolic and regulatory systems in the cell, and ultimately leading to predictive understanding of cellular response to perturbations. Because post-genomics research is taking place throughout the tree of life, comparative approaches offer a way for combining data from many organisms to shed light on the evolution and function of biological networks from the gene to the organismal level. Therefore, systems biology can build on decades of theoretical work in evolutionary biology, and at the same time evolutionary biology can use the systems biology approach to go in new uncharted directions. In this study, we present a review of how the post-genomics era is adopting comparative approaches and dynamic system methods to understand the underlying design principles of network evolution and to shape the nascent fi eld of evolutionary systems biology. Finally, the application of evolutionary systems biology to robust biological network designs is also discussed from the synthetic biology perspective.
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