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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Monday August 06, 2001
03:01 PM

Why Bioinformatics is Fun ...

[ #627 ]
You have to love anything that has a Central Dogma.

Yup, that's what molecular biologists call the basic assumptions about how cells work. Once you buy into the Central Dogma, you know what things to look at, experiment with, and map out, to make progress in Sorting Out How DNA Controls Our Lives.

Programmers have a Central Dogma, too: that computers are predictable machines that do what they're told, and if you get garbage out, then it's because either you put garbage in or your program says to produce garbage. If that Dogma didn't hold, then debugging would be impossible. Good programs given good data could produce bad output.

But just as Microsoft Windows challenges the Programmer's Central Dogma (things randomly stop working, requiring reboots to "fix"), there are lots of questions being raised about Molecular Biology's Central Dogma. Some processes aren't seen as important by the Central Dogma, and it might be that the Really Hard Part of Sorting Out How DNA Controls Our Lives comes from those processes.

Gotta love that Central Dogma. (Cries to decentralize and come up with some kind of p2p Dogma will go unanswered)