Principle of Systems Biology illustrated using the Virtual Heart

author: Denis Noble, Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford
published: Nov. 20, 2007,   recorded: October 2007,   views: 452241


Related Open Educational Resources

Related content

Report a problem or upload files

If you have found a problem with this lecture or would like to send us extra material, articles, exercises, etc., please use our ticket system to describe your request and upload the data.
Enter your e-mail into the 'Cc' field, and we will keep you updated with your request's status.
Lecture popularity: You need to login to cast your vote.


Highest systems property:

“The living organism does not really exist in the milieu extérieur but in the liquid milieu intérieur … a complex organism should be looked upon as an assemblage of simple organisms … that live in the liquid milieu intérieur.”

See Also:

Download slides icon Download slides: eccs07_noble_psb_01.ppt (2.4 MB)

Help icon Streaming Video Help

Link this page

Would you like to put a link to this lecture on your homepage?
Go ahead! Copy the HTML snippet !

Reviews and comments:

Comment1 alex finck, January 31, 2008 at 3:41 p.m.:

Very good and refreshing!

The questions at the end are worth listening. The lecture is very philosophical but it makes a point.

Comment2 alejandro , October 6, 2009 at 8:08 p.m.:

Great lecture. I like his point on metaphors. However, I find funny how he says that non-dualistic philosophies (no right and wrong) are right.

Comment3 Mike Tones, October 24, 2009 at 9:24 p.m.:

Interesting critique of Richard Dawkins' genecentric view of Biology. I think it is possible that because Dawkins is aiming at a mass audience he adopts metaphor and perhaps takes it beyond the point where it is truly valid for the sake of not confusing the lay person. Noble is targeting a much more sophisticated audience and so doesn't have to compromise the complexity. Another way of viewing Noble's position is that he is trying to reassert the status of Physiology as a discipline after it has suffered because of the explosion in molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics etc. He is completely correct that the end point of the reductionist approach has to be able to recreate the system in model form. If you can do that and replicate all of its behaviours this is the only way you can know that you truly understand it. This is the future of physiology - to integrate all of the molecular and cellular information back to the organ (and ultimately whole body) level.

Comment4 Denis Noble, March 1, 2010 at 2:52 a.m.:

This lecture begins by noting that we do not yet really know what Systems Biology is. I agree with the following remark:

"You are probably running out of patience for some definition of systems biology. In any case, I do not think the explicit definition of systems biology should come from me but should await the words of the first great modern systems biologist. She or he is probably among us now." (Marc Kirschner, Harvard University, 2005, Cell, 121, 503-504).

We are all feeling our way in the face of the extreme complexity of nature and the daunting task of unraveling her secrets.

Comment5 Elizabeth Liddle, August 18, 2012 at 9:05 p.m.:

I love this lecture. I've listened to it many times, have the book, and recommend it to countless people.

Thank you!

Comment6 shiva, February 20, 2019 at 9:20 a.m.:

I am so impressed with this Online Board game and every time so excited to play and share with my friends. Here is the link address where you can Join easily.

Comment7 cool math run 3, June 11, 2019 at 3:51 a.m.:

This is very good, it will be on my saved recipes list.

Comment8 strike force kitty 2, July 5, 2019 at 5:31 a.m.:

Now I know more information about a complex creature that should be seen as a collection of simple organisms living in liquid water.

Comment9 Kamden, October 23, 2019 at 2:01 p.m.:

When I am in a medical college I also use to listen to these lectures from our respected teachers. The also explains things really a good way so we understand it.

Comment10 Brady Vincent, October 30, 2019 at 1:35 p.m.:


Comment11 Neon, October 31, 2019 at 7:49 p.m.:

You explain really well about illustrated and it helps me in my work. The appreciate your work.

Comment12 Elijah Noah, March 28, 2020 at 8:45 p.m.:

Your lectures on virtual heart are very helpful for medical students.Share for more biology related lectures because these videos help me a can click site for biology related videos.

Comment13, June 2, 2020 at 2:42 p.m.:

Thanks for sharing this great information, really helpful one.

Comment14 Kyzer, June 2, 2020 at 3:09 p.m.:

Great article! Thanks for sharing this information.

Comment15 AnnaSmith, June 2, 2020 at 5:47 p.m.:

I'm going to save this for future reference. Thanks for posting.

Comment16 Gregg, July 9, 2020 at 7:23 p.m.:

Useful information, worth the read.

Comment17 Nicko, August 11, 2020 at 5:26 p.m.:

Very interesting information, I read about something similar on the essay There was a lot of information about it

Comment18 resurge, September 8, 2020 at 5:03 p.m.:

Since juicing vegetables removes the fiber and makes the sugar more readily available, you'll need to use that sugar wisely. Consume carbs within 30 minutes of training to restore the glucose you've used during your workout. This keeps the muscles from using protein as an energy source. Using the sugar in the green juice to replace glycogen stores that were depleted while working out means the sugar isn't stored in the body as excess glucose, which may be stored as fat if you take in more glucose than the body needs or has the capacity to store.

Comment19 Breana, October 9, 2020 at 10:49 a.m.:

It's great to see this informative post.

Comment20 Ethan Moore, October 27, 2020 at 1:12 p.m.:

Appreciate your posting this interesting article. Keep it up!

Comment21 Thompson, November 3, 2020 at 5:47 p.m.:

Thank you for sharing this informative article. Keep it up!

Comment22 Kristine, November 4, 2020 at 3 p.m.:

Glad to see this great content here.

Comment23 Shawey, November 4, 2020 at 3:02 p.m.:

Thanks for taking the time in sharing this information, a great one.

Comment24 Janwil, November 4, 2020 at 3:04 p.m.:

This is an awesome post.

Comment25 Kyzer, November 4, 2020 at 3:06 p.m.:

It's indeed great information.

Comment26 Cam T., November 28, 2020 at 1:56 a.m.:

I'm very glad I came across this website https://www.winnipeglandscapingservic...

Comment27 Isaac Henry, March 30, 2021 at 5:16 a.m.:

It emerges as the result of interactions between many proteins relating to each other in multiple cascades and in interaction with the cellular environment.

Comment28 Deri, May 13, 2021 at 12:33 p.m.:


Comment29 Jack payne, May 18, 2021 at 9:32 a.m.:

I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. Keep posting. Thanks for sharing

Comment30 Andrew smith, September 18, 2021 at 12:46 p.m.:

I expect more posts from you guys. Keep Sharing More

Comment31 Real Jackets, September 29, 2021 at 7:18 a.m.:

Thanks for sharing such an amazing post. It was really helpful. Keep sharing more content.

Comment32 sara , September 29, 2021 at 1:29 p.m.:

It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon. its really amazing.

Write your own review or comment:

make sure you have javascript enabled or clear this field: