A Primer on Biodynamics and Gene Expression

  • James L. Hargrove
Part of the Modeling Dynamic Systems book series (MDS)


The most crucial element in scientific research is hypothesis testing. An hypothesis may be defined as “a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences.” An hypothesis must be stated in reference to a specific conceptual model that can be demonstrated to be false, if that is the outcome of a test. Before scientists ever begin an experiment, they review current information that pertains to a system of interest, and ask whether important gaps in knowledge exist. In this process, they are creating a mental model of a system, which is not merely an abstraction. To a new investigator, choosing a research topic in a highly competitive research environment is the most important career decision imaginable. The importance of simulation relative to this process is that the models can be created as system diagrams that actually function to produce numerical predictions concerning behavior. Even though the data are in a sense imaginary, there are practical applications for this ability. I have received at least one federal grant in which simulation was used in the grant application to explain an important concept to the review panel. The technique can also be used to generate system diagrams and data for seminars.


Compartmental Model Output Rate Input Rate mRNA Concentration Mouse Button 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Hargrove
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foods and NutritionUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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