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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

The long journey to a Systems Biology of neuronal function

Nicolas Le Novère

Author Affiliations

EMBL-EBI, Wellcome-Trust Genome Campus, CB10 1SD Hinxton, UK

BMC Systems Biology 2007, 1:28  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-1-28

Published: 13 June 2007

Abstract

Computational neurobiology was born over half a century ago, and has since been consistently at the forefront of modelling in biology. The recent progress of computing power and distributed computing allows the building of models spanning several scales, from the synapse to the brain. Initially focused on electrical processes, the simulation of neuronal function now encompasses signalling pathways and ion diffusion. The flow of quantitative data generated by the "omics" approaches, alongside the progress of live imaging, allows the development of models that will also include gene regulatory networks, protein movements and cellular remodelling. A systems biology of brain functions and disorders can now be envisioned. As it did for the last half century, neuroscience can drive forward the field of systems biology.