In a systems approach, the various cellular networks are perturbed by changing environmental conditions or directly perturbing the network by removing genes or modifying their function. One can then measure consequences of these changes as they reverberate throughout the cellular networks. Some changes that can be measured using current technologies include mRNA levels, protein abundance, protein-protein interactions, protein-DNA interactions, protein modifications and metabolite concentrations.
In a systems approach drive development of new technologies that, in turn, generate large amounts of new kinds of system-wide measurments of biological network properties. The analysis of these data requires the development of new software tools and algorithms, that extract meaningful biological insights that yields a systems level understanding of cellular responses.