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How does nature work?  It starts with a collection of little pieces - called the elements of the periodic table – and connects them by rule to make new things.  Each new thing produced – be it a compound or a collection there of – displays a new set of properties.  These properties, which are called emergent, produce our world and the universe as we know it.

If we have a collection of larger pieces, such as cells or animals, and want to know the rules used to form them, then we might wish to try nature’s strategy.  We too can start with a collection of little pieces and connect them to form larger things, including cells, organs, and animals – also by rule. 

Biology openly displays these rules in the things it builds and we can learn to read these rules as equations in a data-driven biology.  In turn, reading biology can become reverse engineering and writing forward engineering.  With a little help from math and technology, it's really quite easy to take things apart or to put them back together.