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New Review

Voit, E.O.: The best models of metabolism. WIREs Syst. Biol. Med. e1391. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1391, 2017. Top-20 Download in 2017-2018.

Book for educated lay public gets good endorsements

Voit, E.O.: The Inner Workings of Life: Vignettes in Systems Biology. Cambridge University Press, 2016.


This new book addresses the educated lay public. It consists of 20 easy-to-read (maybe even fun-to-read) short stories about topics like complexity, -omics, emergence.

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Popular science books have enabled the public to gain an appreciation for advances in a variety of esoteric disciplines ranging from chaos theory to evolutionary biology. But we lack a "fun read" for the emerging field of systems biology, which is bringing together computer scientists, physicists and biologists to figure out the complex inner workings of living cells. Eberhart Voit has filled that gap with his new book. Voit provides the reader with an insider's tour of systems biology, providing us with a sense of how this exciting field will change our lives in the coming years. Impress and challenge your book club with this new offering.
James J. Collins, MIT and Harvard University, USA

This delightful book provides a very readable overview of the emerging field of systems biology. The author, an expert in the field, describes fundamental concepts and tools in systems biology in a conversational style that makes the material very accessible to non-experts and a joy to read. The combination of interesting conceptual information, humor, history, and anecdotes makes this book hard to put down. And no need to worry about the technical mathematics underlying much of systems biology; there is not a single equation in the book! So if you are interested in learning something about negative feedback loops, adaptation, small regulatory RNAs, -omics research, chaos, microarrays, data mining, genome-wide association studies, or a host of other concepts and tools without diving into the details this is the book for you.
Richard Bertram, Florida State University, USA

Now that Systems Biology has become an established research field, it is overdue to present it to the educated layperson. Eberhard Voit, a well-established scientist in the field, has accepted the challenge to provide a textbook without a single mathematical formula. The result is a superb ride through various topics in Systems biology in form of a collection of small stand-alone vignettes: a reading enjoyment for everyone.
Andreas Kremling, Technische Universität München, Germany

This is an intriguing story-telling book about life written by a Mastermind of systems biology. Anyone interested in the essential mechanism of living systems would greatly enjoy reading it. Dr. Voit has successfully done all the ‘complicated’ story-telling in a clear and intuitive way without using any single equation.
Kwang-Hyun Cho, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea

Voit is one of the leading systems biologists of our times. He is well known for his lucid textbooks and creative technical advances. In this gem of a book he manages to explain with clarity, insight, and subtle humor complex topics of systems biology that are still evolving, often found only in the primary literature, or hidden in the backstory of press releases attempting to create a buzz. I am sure my colleagues and non-scientist friends alike will find the book stimulating and fun to read. I venture to guess that even a young reader who is curious about such topics, like my own grandson, will find the vignettes captivating. This readable witty account is sure to garner a wide readership.
Michael A. Savageau, University of California – Davis, USA

This is a fascinating book: lucid, logical, and lively, full of fascinating scientific stories in the inner workings of life. Professor Eberhard Voit presents his case for the systems biology approach with elegance. He illustrates how modern biology calls for an openness that transcends the traditional scientific approach and techniques, and it takes us to the heart of a more complex scientific endeavor integrating mathematics, computer science, and engineering to unravel the principles of life. It is a must read for anyone, novice or professional, interested about the foundations of life, and the present and future of research in the biomedical sciences.
Santiago Schnell, University of Michigan Medical School

The book is written by a leading figure in the field of systems biology. Previous books by the same author have become standard texts in the field and this book is again an excellent example of Eberhard Voit’s outstanding communication skills. Given his standing in the field and long standing experience, it is appropriate that he addresses with this book foundational issues. I wouldn’t miss a talk by Eberhard Voit and I certainly would buy and recommend this book to anyone who is interested in understanding the complexity of living systems. The audience will not only be researchers (in various fields, from the engineering and physical sciences, to the biological and medical sciences) but the book will also appeal to a wider audience with a general interest in recent developments in the life sciences, taking a systems approach. He succeeds in dissecting those and then explaining aspects of living systems that make them complex and he addresses fundamental challenges we face in understanding living systems. Taking a systems biology approach, it is not easy to find a common language for the different disciplines that are involved. Here Eduardo Voit does an excellent job in making the text accessible through analogies. I am regularly invited to speak to school classes and I find it always difficult to communicate my excitement for interdisciplinary research. This book is a perfect recommendation for pupils and students, encouraging them to become scientists.
Olaf Wolkenhauer, University of Rostock, Germany

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