FIGURE 2.1 What is the New Biology?

FIGURE 2.1 What is the New Biology?

SOURCE: Committee on a New Biology for the 21st Century.

bution of the New Biology is to focus on the connections between the partially assembled puzzle sections and dramatically speed up overall assembly.


The committee believes that virtually every biologist who reads this report’s description of the New Biologist will recognize him or herself. All biologists think across levels of biological complexity—molecular biologists consider the impact of genetic regulatory pathways on the health of organisms, ecologists consider the impact of environmental change on the gene pool of an ecosystem, and neuroscientists link cell-to-cell communication with behavior. Rare is the biologist who does not use computational tools to analyze data, or rely on large-scale shared facilities for some experiments. And an increasing fraction of biologists collaborate closely with physical scientists, computational scientists or engineers. The workshop held at the beginning of this committee’s work highlighted a number of laboratories where the New Biology is already well advanced (Box 2.1). The committee does not intend to suggest that there is a stark division between ‘old’ biologists and ‘new’ biologists, but rather that there is a continuum from more reductionist, focused research within particular

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