lunes, 28 de abril de 2014

The Mermaid's Tale: Microbiomes and complexity

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The Mermaid's Tale: Microbiomes and complexity

Microbiomes and complexity

Obesity -- the more we know, the less we seem to know -- or, at least, the more complicated it gets.  But, have heart!  Because this is turning out to be true of much of biology.  The more we learn about cellular mechanisms, how genes work, gene networks, the effects of medications, the relationship between diet and disease, the effects of environmental exposures on risk, and so much else, the better we understand that reductionist science is not necessarily the best way to explain cause and effect.  Why are some people obese and some aren't, why can't a single genetic variant often explain much, why do some people benefit from a given medication and some not, can we predict who will get which disease, and so forth?  It's complicated. But absorbing that message can be the first step towards better understanding.

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