Perspective | Published:

Sharper tools and simpler methods

Nature Genetics volume 32, pages 465468 (2002) | Download Citation



In this issue of The Chipping Forecast, we are witnesses to the adolescence of a class of technologies that are enabling us to monitor globally aspects of gene expression. Chip-based technologies are specific examples of a more general trend toward the implementation of systematic and comprehensive methods in biological research. We need to recognize, however, that these technologies, while seductive, can sometimes be corruptive. In other words, we must guard against committing the mortal sin of genomics by confusing throughput with output, which too often blurs the distinction between data and knowledge. Instead, we must maintain the necessary focus to achieve an ever-more operational understanding of all the molecular components and the interactions that define a cell or an organism.

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This commentary was based on an address originally delivered on 13 December 2001 at Airlie House, Virginia. I wish to thank S. Ebrhimi, J. Green, P. Pospisil and I. Reichardt, my colleagues at Exelixis, for comments and input.

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  1. Exelixis, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94083, USA.

    • Geoffrey M. Duyk


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The author declares no competing financial interests.

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