Colin Semple

By Colin Semple, MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh.

Systems biology has had no shortage of detractors, which is at least partly due to the many ways of defining it. Some definitions go as far as pseudo-mystical descriptions of holistic perspectives (e.g. see the Wikipedia definition), contrasted with traditional reductionist approaches to science.

Scientists are a skeptical bunch and vagaries are bound to be regarded as a poor foundation for a new discipline - if indeed it is a new discipline. Many have complained that definitions…

By Colin Semple, a Software Sustainability Institute Agent.

It has become a cliche to announce that biology is undergoing a revolution, driven by the rapid advance of new technologies for high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of DNA and RNA. A cursory glance at the dramatic increase in sequencing capacity (and the corresponding fall in costs) over the past couple of years reveals rates of improvements that outpace Moore's Law, the famous doubling of processing power every two years seen during the evolution of computer hardware. This is prompting biologists of almost every flavour to…

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