Here is a website graphic I made for a brand new professor at Berkeley. He studies how perturbations, or dysregulation, in metabolic pathways can lead to inflammation, cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases. By using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry he can study the collection of metabolites in a biological sample at any given time, also known as the metabolome. He can probe one node and see how the levels of different metabolites in the vast network are affected. This concept reminded me of a passage in Nabokov's "Lolita" in which Humbert likens himself to a spider who spins a web throughout the entire house so he can pluck one strand and locate the exact whereabouts of Lolita, then guess at her activities. Creepy... but very memorable.