Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Letter in response to "Friendster for Proteins" -- Forbes

Here's the final text of letter written by me and Philip Kim in response to the article below (which was never published):
We felt that your article "Friendster for Proteins" (Mar 12th) overlooked the
most predominant type of systems biology currently practiced in science. While
there is a growing effort in the type of bottom-up modeling described in your
article, the focus thus far has been on top-down analysis of large-scale
networks. At this point in time, our understanding of biological systems is too
tenuous to accurately simulate cellular processes -- and the recent failures at
Airbus suggest that accurate simulation is difficult to achieve even in
engineering. Current research focuses mostly on global properties of networks
and analyzing them on a more abstract level. Many new biological insights have
been gained from this type of analysis and many advances in understanding
protein function, as well as identifying new drug targets and cancer genes, have
been made in this field.
Forbes Mar 12, 2007
Friendster for Proteins - Robert Langreth & Matthew Herper
Understanding how the body's tiny components communicate is opening up vast
territory in drug research. Peter Sorger spent eight years developing new
laboratory gadgets and arcane mathematical theorems to explain....