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Open Access Highly Accessed Opinion

The edges of understanding

Arthur D Lander

Author Affiliations

Center for Complex Biological Systems, Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

BMC Biology 2010, 8:40  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-40

Published: 12 April 2010


A culture's icons are a window onto its soul. Few would disagree that, in the culture of molecular biology that dominated much of the life sciences for the last third of the 20th century, the dominant icon was the double helix. In the present, post-modern, 'systems biology' era, however, it is, arguably, the hairball.