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Open Access Review

Teaching the principle of biological optimization

Arthur T Johnson

Author Affiliations

Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA

Journal of Biological Engineering 2013, 7:6  doi:10.1186/1754-1611-7-6

Published: 20 February 2013


Among the important principles in biology that should be taught in biological engineering educational programs is the principle of optimization, what it means, why it is important, and how it comes about. This material can be presented at numerous levels throughout the curriculum. Understanding of this principle can lead biological engineers to expect it in many, if not all, biological system applications. Understanding optimization in biological systems can help understand the predictive power of evolutionary principles and what to expect from living things incorporated in designs.

Instruction; Courses; Evolution; Biological systems