A few days ago I posted a video by Andrew Hessel on the synthesis of open source computing and molecular biology to create a new (and hopefully viable) model of personalized medicine. Today I saw another post on brightsurf.com entitled “Biologists merge methods, results from different disciplines to find new meaning in old data.” The article goes on to say that “By putting together pieces of prior research, it is possible to transform how you do science and open the doors to findings that previously were unattainable.”
There once was a time when RNA and DNA guys stuck to Northern Blots and PCR and protein chemists specialized in chromotography. Today we are finding that most people have a little expertise in each area and it is no longer possible (or efficient) to deeply focus on one area or techique without keeping your eyes open to different approaches. Science has become a meta-data discipline where you now need to look at hundreds of proteins or genes via bioplex assays or microarrays in order to get a more complete picture on mechanisms of disease. The my favorite gene approach has fallen out of favour. Considering how tough it has become to get grants (see my post “are we crazy” ) we need to find new ways of learning and of obtaining large amounts of data in a relatively short time frame.
I’m a molecular biologist, but I’m waiting with baited breath to see what other disciplines come together to solve some of the worlds greatest mysteries.