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Vol. 307 no. 5711 pp. 856-858
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103737
  • Perspective

Accelerating Networks

  1. Michael J. Gagen*
  1. The authors are in the ARC Special Research Centre for Functional and Applied Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia. E-mail: j.mattick{at}, m.gagen{at}


Networks that are simple connection networks like telephone exchanges or the Internet are able to grow in an unconstrained way. However, as Mattick and Gagen explain in their Perspective, all regulatory networks, whether in biology, engineering or society, are accelerating networks that must be able to operate in a globally responsive way. Such global responsiveness imposes an upper size limit on the complexity of functionally integrated systems due to the costs incurred by the requirement for an increased number of connections and levels of regulation.