Organisms Replace Systems
Understanding, analysis, and controlled modifications of complex systems represent the utmost challenge for present-day science. Being able to deal successfully with problems created by complex environments is one of the characteristic features of life and, in particular, the domain of biological evolution. How to master complexity can thus be learned from nature. After the spectacular results of molecular biology in the exploration of life at molecular resolution scientists have learned to make use of this knowledge in mastering complex tasks. Four examples out of many others are nanotechnology, molecular machinery, genetic engineering, and evolutionary biotechnology. Nanotechnology tries to build supramolecular complexes in a bottom-up approach from programmable molecules through self-assembly. Molecular machines serve various purposes like the conversion of chemical energy into mechanical work with intriguing efficiency. Other examples are chemical factories on molecular scale where...