Monday, August 25, 2014

Biological networking

Register Guard
August 25th, 2014

On a February day in 1953, after 23-year-old James Watson and 36-year-old Francis Crick made the momentous discovery of the double helix mechanism of inheritance, they went to Eagle Pub near campus in Cambridge, England, where Crick declared:
“We found the secret of life.”
Without a doubt, the discovery was world changing. But Crick’s declaration was premature, as 51 years of work by geneticists, microbiologists, molecular geneticists and evolutionary biologists has made clear.
If the human genome were a car, researchers have identified, labeled and laid out all the parts — spark plug, brake pad, ignition switch — but they still don’t know how to make the car drive, said Patrick Phillips, a University of Oregon biology researcher and professor.
“We’re getting pretty good now at identifying one mutation that causes one problem, but most of the challenges in biology now are due to complex things,” he said.
The continuing disappointment is that — despite the mountains of accumulated knowledge about genetics since Watson and Crick — researchers have yet to identify the genetic basis for most diseases.
Now, scientists are looking for the answers in “biological networks” and the UO is on “the bleeding edge” of the research, said Bill Cresko, UO biology researcher and assistant professor.

No comments:

Post a Comment

To eliminate spam comments at restricted to registered users. Additionally, all posts are moderated to further prevent spam and off topic discourse. We strive to post all on topic comments.