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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2004 Jun;68(2):173-86.

A new biology for a new century.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, 601 S. Goodwin, Urbana, IL 61801, USA. carl@ninja.life.uiuc.edu

Abstract

Biology today is at a crossroads. The molecular paradigm, which so successfully guided the discipline throughout most of the 20th century, is no longer a reliable guide. Its vision of biology now realized, the molecular paradigm has run its course. Biology, therefore, has a choice to make, between the comfortable path of continuing to follow molecular biology's lead or the more invigorating one of seeking a new and inspiring vision of the living world, one that addresses the major problems in biology that 20th century biology, molecular biology, could not handle and, so, avoided. The former course, though highly productive, is certain to turn biology into an engineering discipline. The latter holds the promise of making biology an even more fundamental science, one that, along with physics, probes and defines the nature of reality. This is a choice between a biology that solely does society's bidding and a biology that is society's teacher.

PMID:
15187180
PMCID:
PMC419918
DOI:
10.1128/MMBR.68.2.173-186.2004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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