Thursday, April 09, 2009

Systems Biology Discovery of the Week:

"Approximately 100,000 somatic mutations from cancer genomes have been reported in the quarter of a century since the first somatic mutation was found in HRAS. Over the next few years several hundred million more will be revealed by large-scale, complete sequencing of cancer genomes."

Fair enough. But ultimately the job of science is to simplify seemingly complex natural phenomena into smaller, more manageable problems. Do we really need to catalogue EVERY mutation in EVERY cancer cell from EVERY patient, or do we already have enough information to deduce the important concepts?

I for one would like to know a lot more about the mutations that are happening in normal cells.

Anyhow, the Nature review nicely summarizes the systems biology-inspired approach to tackling the "cancer genome".