Some quantitative biologists say they have uncovered a common mechanism regulating gene expression during development:
“From these studies, we are learning rules for how genes can be made more or less noisy,” Carthew said. “Sometimes cells want to harness the genetic noise — the level of variation in gene expression — to make randomized decisions. Other times cells want to suppress the noise because it makes cells too variable for the good of the organism. Intrinsic features of a gene can imbue them with more or less noise.”
While engineers are excited by the ability to control and manipulate biological systems, Mani said, more fundamental knowledge needs to be discovered.
“We only know the tip of the iceberg,” Mani said. “We are far from a time when basic science is considered complete and all that is left is engineering and design. The natural world is still hiding its deepest mysteries.”Northwestern University, “Toward principles of gene regulation in multicellular systems?” at ScienceDaily
Paper. (open access)
Physics was “hiding its deepest mysteries” thousands of years ago too before anyone uncovered laws for how it works. There are still mysteries in physics, of course, but they are now more basic. The laws are now known. Let’s hope the same proves true for biology.