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Art Woods, Marty Martin
What are network motifs, and how and why do they matter to biological networks?
On this episode, we talk with Uri Alon, systems biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, about biological networks. In the early 2000s, Uri discovered some of the fundamental characteristics of these networks and, since then, has worked to understand networks across different levels of biological organization. His work shows that, from genes to whole organisms, networks are filled with repeating patterns of connections known as network motifs, such as feedback and feedforward loops. We talk about how the motifs arise and what they mean for the performance and evolution of the systems in which they’re embedded. Moving farther afield, we also talk about how scientists can productively move into new areas, and how Uri teaches early-stage scientists to leap confidently into the unknown. And a bonus: Uri sings and plays guitar for us!
Cover photo: Keating Shahmehri
Length of Episode
1 hour, 9 minutes, 24 seconds
Digital File Format
Woods, Art and Martin, Marty, "Episode 096: The network motifs that run the world (with Uri Alon)" (2023). BigBiology Podcasts. 98.