Co-authors from The University of Texas, Austin have contributed to a study about how the endeavors of the community of life sciences have focused too much on genetic exploration and experimentation, and have begun to neglect studying the actual organisms these genetic information came from.
The article, published in the journal BioScience, explains that genetic study alone is not enough to gain a thorough and holistic understanding of these organisms’ physiology and behavior, especially when exposed to varying environments and other factors that put the organism’s natural adaptations and defenses into play.
Dietmar Kueltz, a professor of physiological genomics in the University of California, Davis’ department of animal science says that, although the progress biology has made in the field of genetics over the last 50 years has been excellent and does serve as foundations for many more researches and practical applications, little is known now about how these mechanisms are affected by the organisms’ experiences throughout their lifespans.
According to a recent press release, Kueltz and similarly-minded researchers . . .
” . . . propose that improved tracking technologies are needed to record life-history exposures and experiences of complex organisms, as well as the environmental variables in their natural habitats at proper resolution.
Furthermore, they call for accelerated development of more powerful and widely accessible high-throughput tools for elucidating the structure and function of organisms, just as high-throughput technology was created for comprehensive studies of genetic blueprints.”
The BioScience article co-authored by universities across the country includes analyses and discussions from a workshop held in Arlington, Virginia back in 2011 about the future of organismal biology, funded by the National Science Foundation.