The theory of Buffered Qualitative Stability uses the importance of biological robustness to explain many features of gene regulatory networks in a wide range of organisms, and has implications for diverse biological phenomena including the ability of bacteria and cancer cells to ‘loosen’ their robustness and hence evade treatment.
Multiple enhancers in physical proximity can reinforce shared transcriptional 'hubs' to preserve their transcriptional output, providing a buffer during environmental stresses and genetic perturbations to preserve phenotypic robustness.
Dopamine is able to ensure that neural networks maintain critical features of their output, such as synchrony of neuron firing, by directly increasing coupling strength to ensure robust output is maintained.
Stochasticity introduced computationally into a gene expression oscillator creates heterogeneity in the time of differentiation of identical cells and offers robustness to the progenitor state and the outcome of cell division.
Plasticity arising from autocatalytic receptor activation coexists with robustness in ligand responsiveness only by differential endosomal sorting of spontaneous and ligand-activated EGFR as distinct molecular states.