PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Cancer Systems Biology: a New Approach to Biological Explanation?

Many factors drive tumor formation at different temporal and spatial scales. Multiscale models of cancer attempt to integrate data about cancer initiation and progression at these different scales: molecular, genomic, cellular and microenvironmental. Often such models use mathematical and network representations of cancer causation. What role(s) do the mathematical and network representations play in explaining cancer progression? What are the relationships between mechanistic and "systems" level characterizations of cancer causation? This talk offers a taxonomy of the different aims and scope of explanations in the systems biology of cancer.

Author Information:

Anya Plutynski    
Washington University in St. Louis

Marta Bertolaso    
Institute of Philosophy of Scientific and Technological Practice
Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma


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