Molecular Biology

03 Oct 1994 12:02

I believe it was Watson who deeply offended many of his colleagues by saying that there is one biology, and it is molecular. This seems, alas, to be true --- not in the sense that simple DNA mongering is the heart of biology, but that the molecular, reductionist approach works so well it's almost scary, and really does get at how living things work. More: it lets us change how living things work. The possibilities it raises are enormous and to many minds obscene. (You can already take some key developmental genes out of a simple worm, C. elegans, splice 'em into a vertebrate and have the critter come out normal. Dolly is nothing.)

So: the age of biology, prophesied since Diderot, is coming upon us. We may as well enjoy it. I, frankly, am just glad that biologists will be the ones taking the rap for unleashing the apocalypse for the next half century or so, not physicists.

See also: Bioinformatics; Biotechnology; Gene Expression Data Analysis; Signal Transduction, Gene Regulation, and Control of Metabolism.
I need an immunology notebook.