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Issue
Eleven

Experiments, experiements, experiments

As well as having strong opinions on ubiquitination, Sir Philip also stresses that experiments are vital – and suggests the current emphasis on bio-informatics may be premature. He also says that many people get it wrong because of “weak” technologies and the use of “cheap and dirty” methods that are not sufficiently robust.  …


“We need to understand how complex biological systems are integrated,” says Sir Philip. “There are hundreds of proteins to look at but I passionately believe in the importance of experiments – we are still only just scratching the surface.”

To get the science right, Sir Philip thinks it's critical to invest in technologies such as mouse genetics – studying protein kinases in action by generating mice that carry a particular mutation.  It can take a year to create 'knock-in' mice, at a cost of up to £40,000 per mutation, but according to Sir Philip, “without genetics, there is no proof.”  Biochemists can do very valuable work in the lab, testing specific pharmaceutical inhibitors, but it is only when they get the same answer in experiments with living mammals that there is “a good chance the hypothesis is correct.”
 

"Experiments, experiements, experiments". Science Scotland (Issue Eleven)
Printed from http://www.sciencescotland.org/feature.php?id=149 on 22/11/17 06:28:01 PM

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