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About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 31 October 2022
Manuscript Extension Submission Deadline 30 November 2022

Some essential dynamics in systems biology allow important properties to emerge from the transient (time-dependent) behavior of the underlying models. Such time dependent behavior is difficult to observe and measure in vivo or in vitro for several reasons. On the one hand, available experimental methods are difficult to instrument in order to carry out precise observations at the millisecond, or even smaller time scales when transients occur. In addition, apparently random or non-repetitive effects can affect the reliability of the observations, and molecular-level noise can also have an important effect. Also, different units and sub-ensembles may respond to identical stimuli in an asynchronous fashion, so that viewed together this may be interpreted as random behavior.

A related phenomenon is that large numbers of distinct yet related and interconnected cells or biological ensembles can lead to collective behaviors which appear to be distinct between one ensemble and another while responding to the same stimulus, or between different elements of the same ensemble. As a consequence, it is often simpler, and sometimes even more accurate, to observe long-term (steady-state) as well as large ensemble average behaviors, even when individual behaviors may be of great significance.

Thus, this article collection will address, both from a theoretical and experimental perspective, a number of basic issues related to the questions we have outlined. Specifically with regard to Systems Biology, we will seek work that attempts to address some of the following topics, and other related questions, both in the form of review articles and as novel research contributions, including pertinent examples and experimental observations:
- When do large ensembles have short term behaviors that are accurately reflected or deduced from long-term or steady-state behaviors?
- How is the variability or asynchrony of individual behaviors linked to the overall ensemble and time averages or distributions?
- How can we deduce an individual behavior from the variability of ensembles or the long-term behavior of the individual element?
- How does the variability and asynchrony of individual behaviors, as well as possible hidden interconnections and dependencies, contribute
to the predictive accuracy of the overall collective behaviors?
- How do the system level robust and predictable overall behaviors emerge from apparently diverse, random, and asynchronous behaviors?

This article collection will welcome very diverse contributions both from experimentalists and theoreticians, including modelling and simulation studies, to shed light on some of these important issues.

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Some essential dynamics in systems biology allow important properties to emerge from the transient (time-dependent) behavior of the underlying models. Such time dependent behavior is difficult to observe and measure in vivo or in vitro for several reasons. On the one hand, available experimental methods are difficult to instrument in order to carry out precise observations at the millisecond, or even smaller time scales when transients occur. In addition, apparently random or non-repetitive effects can affect the reliability of the observations, and molecular-level noise can also have an important effect. Also, different units and sub-ensembles may respond to identical stimuli in an asynchronous fashion, so that viewed together this may be interpreted as random behavior.

A related phenomenon is that large numbers of distinct yet related and interconnected cells or biological ensembles can lead to collective behaviors which appear to be distinct between one ensemble and another while responding to the same stimulus, or between different elements of the same ensemble. As a consequence, it is often simpler, and sometimes even more accurate, to observe long-term (steady-state) as well as large ensemble average behaviors, even when individual behaviors may be of great significance.

Thus, this article collection will address, both from a theoretical and experimental perspective, a number of basic issues related to the questions we have outlined. Specifically with regard to Systems Biology, we will seek work that attempts to address some of the following topics, and other related questions, both in the form of review articles and as novel research contributions, including pertinent examples and experimental observations:
- When do large ensembles have short term behaviors that are accurately reflected or deduced from long-term or steady-state behaviors?
- How is the variability or asynchrony of individual behaviors linked to the overall ensemble and time averages or distributions?
- How can we deduce an individual behavior from the variability of ensembles or the long-term behavior of the individual element?
- How does the variability and asynchrony of individual behaviors, as well as possible hidden interconnections and dependencies, contribute
to the predictive accuracy of the overall collective behaviors?
- How do the system level robust and predictable overall behaviors emerge from apparently diverse, random, and asynchronous behaviors?

This article collection will welcome very diverse contributions both from experimentalists and theoreticians, including modelling and simulation studies, to shed light on some of these important issues.

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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