In the context that we are using in this course, regulation is the continual control of algal metabolism that leads to growth. Through regulation of enzyme kinetics, gene expression and development, new algal biomass is formed that is essentially the same as the old biomass. The ratios of components may change in response to environmental conditions or in response to resource availability.

The individual mechanisms in our description of regulation can be identified and their roles studied. Enzyme inhibition, activation and other forms of modification can be studied through enzyme kinetics. Gene expression can be studied by following mRNA production of particular transcripts or immunologically based assays of the protein. Both of these parts contribute to the two component model of regulation.

Another view of regulation

A cell is always remaking itself. Through regulation and allocation of resources, the organization of the cell is making more of itself.

This concept is called "auotopoesis".


product of its structure is its own structure

the structure of a system is the physical embodiment of its pattern of organization


It is related to the concept of "cognition".

the process of knowing, being self-aware

information processing (but more than that)

bringing forth continually

a cognitive system is a system whose organization determines interactions with the environment to maintain itself


In humans, we create our world through language. In organisms, the regulation is like a language, with syntax that operates in specific contexts.



Fritjof Capra

Winograd and Flores