Saturday, April 11, 2009

New model organisms   posted by p-ter @ 4/11/2009 08:28:00 AM

Nature has a nice piece on the uses of alternative model organisms in various parts of biology. The focus is on the medical applications of these models, which I suppose is due to issues with funding. But the real message is that with novel genomics applications (mainly high-throughput sequencing), understanding the genetics of a wide variety of nature's bizarre creatures is possible. Sure, understanding how the Antarctic icefish adapted to sub-zero temperatures might in theory help understanding of some human disease, but let's be honest--that's worth studying just because it's really cool.