« Talmudic Question #17 | Main | Move Over, DNA »


Frank Harold

Frank Harold Replies to Alex Johnson-Buck

Thank you! It is always a pleasure to learn of colleagues who are becoming aware of the huge gap between molecules and cells, and of its implications for our perception of the nature and origin of life. I have spent much of the past six years grappling with these matters, with a focus on yet one more book. “Immense Journey: In Search of Cell History” is to be published in 2014 by the University of Chicago Press. It highlights and underscores the questions, but does not claim to answer them. In fact, for all the expenditure of effort and ink over the past half-century, to my mind at least life remains as mysterious as ever.

So how about “Systems Biology”, and the computer-driven analysis of data by the zillion using ever-more sophisticated algorithms? If any insights have emerged so far, they have eluded me. I hasten to add that I belong to the pre-computer generation, and may well have missed something important. Let me then pose this Talmudic question to Dr Johnson-Buck, and anyone else who takes an interest: Can you identify any specific insight, derived from this approach, that had not been intuited earlier? If so, let me urge you to spell it out, in a manner accessible to those of us who read and reflect, but do not compute.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)