Speaker Philip Bourne
Affiliation University of California
Date recorded 12 October 2010
The Reaming of Life Philip Bourne, University of California, San Diego Anyone can punch a hole in a piece of metal, but a reamer is needed to accurately size and finish that hole. Digital computers are the reamers of life, bringing together a vast array of disparate bits of data to provide an accurate picture of life that can be smoothly transcended across scales—from molecules to populations. Sounds heady, so why do we not fully understand the molecular basis of cancer? Why can’t we accurately model the impact of an oil spill on marine life? Why can’t we decide whether there is a tree of life or a network of life? "Well tonight we are going to sort it all out, for tonight it’s the reaming of life."
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