Reference : Macromolecular networks and intelligence in microorganisms
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Macromolecular networks and intelligence in microorganisms
Westerhoff, Hans V.* [The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK > Manchester Centre for Integrative Systems Biology]
Brooks, Aaron* [Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA, USA]
Simeonidis, Vangelis* mailto [University of Luxembourg > Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB)]
García-Contreras, Rodolfo* [Instituto Nacional de Cardiología, Mexico City, Mexico > Departamento de Bioquímica]
He, Fei [The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK > Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering]
Boogerd, Fred C. [VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands > Department of Molecular Cell Physiology]
Jackson, Victoria J. [The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK > School of Computer Science]
Goncharuk, Valeri [Russian Cardiology Research Center, Moscow, Russia]
Kolodkin, Alexey mailto [University of Luxembourg > Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) > >]
* These authors have contributed equally to this work.
Frontiers in Microbiology
Frontiers Research Foundation
Microbiotechnology, Ecotoxicology and Bioremediation
[en] microbial intelligence ; emergence ; decision making ; robust adaptation ; association ; anticipation ; self-awareness ; problem solving
[en] Living organisms persist by virtue of complex interactions among many components organized into dynamic, environment-responsive networks that span multiple scales and dimensions. Biological networks constitute a type of Information and Communication Technology (ICT): they receive information from the outside and inside of cells, integrate and interpret this information, and then activate a response. Biological networks enable molecules within cells, and even cells themselves, to communicate with each other and their environment. We have become accustomed to associating brain activity – particularly activity of the human brain – with a phenomenon we call “intelligence”.
Yet, four billion years of evolution could have selected networks with topologies and dynamics that confer traits analogous to this intelligence, even though they were outside the intercellular networks of the brain. Here, we explore how macromolecular networks in microbes confer intelligent characteristics, such as memory, anticipation, adaptation and reflection and we review current understanding of how network organization reflects the type of intelligence required for the environments in which they were selected. We propose that, if we were to leave terms such as “human” and “brain” out of the defining features of “intelligence”, all forms of life – from microbes to humans – exhibit some or all characteristics consistent with “intelligence”. We then review advances in genome-wide data production and analysis, especially in microbes, that provide a lens into microbial intelligence and propose how the insights derived from quantitatively characterizing biomolecular networks may enable synthetic biologists to create intelligent molecular networks for biotechnology, possibly generating new forms of intelligence, first in silico and then in vivo.
Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB): Experimental Neurobiology (Balling Group)
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public ; Others

File(s) associated to this reference

Fulltext file(s):

Open access
fmicb-05-00379 (1).pdfPublisher postprint2.29 MBView/Open

Bookmark and Share SFX Query

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.