It will be interesting to read more about this idea of emergent conservation laws.

I apologize if you guys already know about this, but wanted to mention a practical resource in this area from systems biology. Genome scale models (e.g. downloadable from http://bigg.ucsd.edu) describe the coupling/stoichiometry for every known reaction in a living organism. These models describe a convex polytope of potentially accessible fluxes for every reaction in the organism.