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Sunday, January 12, 2003

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find related articles. powered by google. The Scientist Metaphors and Dreams
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"To reread James Watson's The Double Helix is to see once again the power of the scientific method: Reduce the problem to little solvable bits and attack them serially. The book shares the exhilaration of the discovery of why DNA must be the secret of life.

But "must be" is a prediction, not an explanation. The secrets are still there. How could DNA inside the cell make trillions of cells behave as one? What is it about DNA and the cell that makes a protein, that triggers a process, that ends in a firing of electrical signals and discharge of transmitters that assembles a thought, like this one, in these 40 words? What flickering community of a spin doctor's genes set in motion the thought expressed by President Clinton upon the completion of the first drafts of the human genome, on June 26, 2000? He said (and compared to some other things people said, it seemed quite modest), "This is the most important, the most wondrous map ever produced by mankind. It will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases." And could there have been a genetic basis for the response of 100,000 clinicians, biomedical researchers, health managers, and patients: "Yes, but how? And when?""

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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