Robustness of Cellular Functions
Robustness, the ability to maintain performance in the face of perturbations and uncertainty, is a long-recognized key property of living systems. Owing to intimate links to cellular complexity, however, its molecular and cellular basis has only recently begun to be understood. Theoretical approaches to complex engineered systems can provide guidelines for investigating cellular robustness because biology and engineering employ a common set of basic mechanisms in different combinations. Robustness may be a key to understanding cellular complexity, elucidating design principles, and fostering closer interactions between experimentation and theory.