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Panned by Brenner

fritz_roth frederick_roth at hms.harvard.edu
Sat Apr 6 19:39:04 PST 2002


By his preference for "mobish", Sydney Brenner seems to suggest that there is 
no need for a language to describe biological objects at any level more 
abstract than the objects themselves.

One response might be found in a Lewis Carroll story "Sylvie and Bruno 
Concluded" (also recounted in Baldi & Brunak's Bioinformatics book).

In the story, the character Mein Herr says, "And then came the grandest idea 
of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the 
mile!

^ÔHave you used it much?^Ô I enquired.

^ÓIt has never been spread out, yet,^Ô said Mein Herr: ^Óthe farmers objected: 
they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we
now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as 
well."

Cheers,
Fritz Roth

>===== Original Message From "Chervitz, Steve" <Steve_Chervitz at affymetrix.com> 
=====
>Syndey Brenner recently published an opinion in The Scientist ("Ontology
>Recapitulates Philology", 16[6]:12, Mar. 18, 2002) that downplays the
>importance of GO:
>
>http://www.the-scientist.com/yr2002/mar/opin_020318.html
>
>Any plans to send a letter in response? I'd be willing to co-author.
>
>Steve
>
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-------------------------------------------------
Frederick P. Roth, Assistant Professor
Harvard Medical School
Dept. of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
250 Longwood Avenue, SGMB 322A
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 432-3551 phone
(617) 432-3557 FAX
froth at hms.harvard.edu
-------------------------------------------------

--
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