Friday, September 17, 2010

Systems Biology versus "real" biology

Scientific American has an article about this years' Lindau meeting of Nobel Laureates. It features an interesting conversations between Tim Hunt, Roland Pache (at the time PhD student) and undergraduate Sophia Hsing-Jung Li.
Here is the video of the conversation:
The discussion centered around systems biology and Hunt was not shy about expressing his skepticism. Since I happen to see great value in both the Omics and the design principles sort of work that characterize systems biology my frustration grew quickly. The whole video can be neatly summarize by Hunt's advice that people working in systems biology should "spend plenty of time talking to real biologists".

Real biologists ? ... I felt like writing a long rant about the findings that were made possible by the sort of work that he his so skeptical about but then I thought about xkcd and relaxed a bit: