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Archived Comments for: The edges of understanding

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  1. Genome hairballs and cartoon biology

    Peter Uetz, JCVI

    27 May 2010

    I would even go one step further than Arthur Lander and say that the icon of this century is the "genome hairball", i.e. global hairballs resulting from whole genome sequences and the links among their components (genes, proteins, metabolites ec.). Networks have been around since the early days of genetics even though they were much simpler (and less well defined). Since then, networks have continuously grown from a few components to, well, today's genome hairballs.

    What is still lacking today (to make hairballs more useful for biology) are computational tools that allow users to zoom into a hairball, visualize the details of the nodes and edges, and integrate all available information in a intuitive, user-friendly way. This would be the ultimate "understanding" machine.

    Competing interests