Dynamical modeling of biological systems is becoming increasingly widespread as people attempt to grasp biological phenomena in their full complexity and make sense of an accelerating stream of experimental data. We review a number of recent modeling studies that focus on systems specifically involving gene expression and regulation. These systems include bacterial metabolic operons and phase-variable piliation, bacteriophages T7 and λ, and interacting networks of eukaryotic developmental genes. A wide range of conceptual and mathematical representations of genetic components and phenomena appears in these works. We discuss these representations in depth and give an overview of the tools currently available for creating and exploring dynamical models. We argue that for modeling to realize its full potential as a mainstream biological research technique the tools must become more general and flexible, and formal, standardized representations of biological knowledge and data must be developed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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