Nonlinearity of Biological Systems

Biological systems can have both linear and nonlinear properties; during their evolution they used all possible types of dynamics to increase their effectiveness and stability. Nevertheless, most biological processes are nonlinear. One can mention the following nonlinear effects: system's state jumping (bifurcation or 'transformation of quantity to quality'); system's transition between deterministic and chaotic behaviors; hysteretic effect, that is, the system 'remembers' its history; self-organization (purposeful decrease of the system entropy). Examples of evidently nonlinear biological processes are autocatalysis, reproduction, evolution of species, etc.

The analysis of critical regimes and singularities of the parametric space can be used for revealing 'acupuncture points', where small local perturbations provoke great large-scale metamorphoses of the system. A spectrum of quasistationary solutions is realized as a set of possible forms of morphogenesis. The discarded forms are still within system's reach but remain dormant, unknown to observers in the course of evolution.

Nonlinear dynamics of living beings is often intuitively incomprehensible; admiration of nonlinear algorithms of life produces paradoxical ideas about intelligence of cytoplasm or bacteria.

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