The dynamic behavior of cells is a subject of extensive investigation. Current attempts to model and describe cell behavior show similarity to traditional engineering models of dynamic systems, often making use of the same vocabulary and principles (e.g. amplification, feedback, regulation, instability). A significant difference between biological dynamic systems and engineered ones is that the latter often feature a designed compensator whose dynamic behavior modulates the dynamic response of the system through closed-loop feedback control. In biological systems, by contrast, the feedback is often implicit, and the investigator has no direct control over modulations which are internal to the system. Although disruptive techniques like synthetic siRNA [1] or genetic modification can certainly change cellular behavior, in some cases it is desirable to probe the dynamics of cellular processes without changing their essential operation, or without substantial delay between applying a perturbation and observing its effects.

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