(Bio)chemical reaction networks are used in systems biology to model gene regulatory, protein, metabolic, and other cellular networks. Since existence of multiple steady states (MSS) provides the underpinnings for switching in chemical reaction networks, it is a fundamental problem to determine which network structures permit MSS. There exist several criteria which, when satisfied, establish that a network does not permit MSS regardless of the parameter values. On the other hand, results that establish that a network does permit MSS are rare. I will describe our recent work which provides a novel approach towards solving this problem. In the second part of the talk, I will describe stochastic switching which occurs in a network of neurons which is responsible for the distinct brain states of sleep and wake and for the transitions between the two states.