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This paper includes a conceptual framework for cell cycle modeling into which the experimenter can map observed data and evaluate mechanisms of cell cycle control. The basic model exhibits qualitative stability, meaning that regardless of magnitudes of system parameters its instances are guaranteed to be stable in the sense that all feasible trajectories converge to a certain trajectory. Qualitative stability can also be described by the signs of real parts of eigenvalues of the system matrix. On the biological side, the resulting model can be tuned to approximate experimental data pertaining to human fibroblast cell lines treated with ionizing radiation, with or without disabled DNA damage checkpoints. Together these properties validate a fundamental, first order systems view of cell dynamics.
Classification Codes: 15A68
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The reviewing and editorial management of our paper was timely, thorough, and systematic. In particular the reviewers' comments resulted in a paper significantly more robust than the first version.