what software do biologists need?

Peter Rice rice at embl-heidelberg.de
Fri Mar 19 04:00:10 EST 1993

In article <C4390H.493.1 at cs.cmu.edu>, valdes+ at CS.CMU.EDU (Raul Valdes-Perez) writes:
> We should keep in mind the old joke about bad marketing:
> to determine the demand for a new bridge, go to the river
> and count how many people swim across.  The analogy is not
> exact, but the spirit is similar.

But a biologist would ask: Why are they swimming across?

Biological methods may not be an easy way to answer this question, but if the
computer scientists build a bridge it just makes them cross faster but gives no
understanding of why they are doing it.

This perhaps explains why computer scientists approached the problem of
lemmings by writing a game. Population control would be a better way to keep
the numbers down (of lemmings that is, not computer scientists - we need
evidence of a genetic cause to identify their parents before we go that far :-)

At least they didn't build a bridge across the North Sea...

 Peter Rice, EMBL                             | Post: Computer Group
                                              |       European Molecular
 Internet:    Peter.Rice at EMBL-Heidelberg.DE   |            Biology Laboratory
                                              |       Postfach 10-2209
 Phone:   +49-6221-387247                     |       W-6900 Heidelberg
 Fax:     +49-6221-387306                     |       Germany

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