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Lunch Lecture - Robert Murphy (Computational Biology)


Paradigm Shifts in Biology: From descriptive to automated biology

Prof. Robert Murphy
Carnegie Mellon University
Computational Biology
External Senior Fellow

Paradigm Shifts in Biology - From descriptive to automated biology
Wann 23.06.2016
von 12:15 bis 13:00
Wo Universität Freiburg, KG I, Hörsaal 1015
Kontakttelefon +49 (0)761 203-97398
Teilnehmer öffentlich / open to public
Termin übernehmen vCal

The origins of biology were in ancient studies that provided descriptions of plants and animals accompanied by theories based in religion and essentialism. The rise of empiricism in the 17th century led to the widespread acceptance of the scientific method, and by the early 20th century description (especially at the organism or population level) gave way to mechanistic explanation, exemplified by genetics and the discovery of DNA replication and the genetic code. A shift to reductionist analysis at the molecular level led to dramatic progress in identifying roles of specific molecules in biological processes, and was associated with the rise of model organism studies and targeted drug development. But this also gradually led to the demise of generalizable theories, as more and more exceptions to these theories were found. The development of systems biology therefore emphasized automated, high throughput data collection and the creation of predictive computational models. In the process, the role of the scientific method has become unclear.