Universal Scaling in Biochemical Networks

Hyunju Kim, Harrison B. Smith, Cole Mathis, Jason Raymond and Sara I. Walker

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Received: 31st October 17

Attempts to identify universal properties of life are limited by the single example of biochemistry on Earth. Using a global database of 28,146 annotated genomes and metagenomes, we report universal scaling laws governing the topology of biochemical networks across levels of organization from individuals, to ecosystems, to the biosphere as a whole. We show the three domains of life are topologically distinguishable, while nonetheless conforming to the same universal scaling laws. Comparing real biochemical networks to networks composed of randomly sampled biochemical reactions reveals the observed scaling is not a product of shared biochemistry alone, but is instead attributable to universal constraints on how global biochemistry is partitioned into individuals. The reemergence of the same regularities across levels of organization hints at general principles governing biochemical network architecture.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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