ECCO/GBI seminar: Modular evolution and adaptation in complex systems
Prof. Peter Csermely (LINK-Group, Semmelweis University, Department of Medical Chemistry firstname.lastname@example.org)
Abstract: Our multidisciplinary group (www.linkgroup.hu) uses networks as 'highways' making the transfer of concepts between various disciplines. This allows the utilization of the 'wisdom' of biological systems surviving crisis events for many billions of years. The community structure of the protein-protein interaction network of yeast cells became more condensed upon stress. However, vital inter-community bridges were maintained and novel inter-community bridges were formed (PLoS Comput. Biol. 7, e1002187). Community reorganization emerged as general and novel systems level way of cost-efficient adaptation and evolution. Inter-community, highly dynamic 'creative nodes' not only determine the systems potential for fast adaptation, but also serve as a 'life insurance' in crisis. This is highly similar of the role of creative, gifted people in society. Creative transitions are served by an increased flexibility of the complex system. In other words: flexibility-increase increases the learning potential of the system. However, an 'over-flexible' system will not have a memory, and will unable to keep changes. An increase in system rigidity increases the memory storing ability of the system. Alternating changes of flexibility and rigidity emerge as a highly efficient optimization strategy of evolutionary changes.