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Re: 'not an artist' article
> On 05-Jul-2000 Steve Baker wrote:
> > Erik wrote:
> > The critical point where it would all (hypothetically) fall apart - even
> > presuming
> > we had the compute power to do it - is that we currently have no good
> > algorithms
> > to predict how a protein will fold into a 3D structure given only it's
> > chemical
> > formula.
> but we're looking for a much higher level result. :) Take thermodynamics for
> example... There are things like kinetic theory that say why the pressure
> increases if temperature increases in an isochoric PvT system. It's useful to
> know the kinetic theory, and it's relevent to thermodynsmics, but it's not
> actually used... it's just used to establish the simpler rules like PV=nRT or
> (whatever Van der Waals gas is). We can observe the low level approach that
> genome project lays out to develop the simpler approaches we'll use.
Right - you can't easily get the bulk behaviour of gasses under pressure by
simulating low level collisions between fundamental particles. So you use
the bulk laws of physics at the macro scales. Those laws were invented
before we even knew that atoms and molecules existed. It was a top-down
approach with thermometers, pressure gauges and such that produced those
The situation with the human genome project is the opposite - it's a bottom-up
process right now. We have the order of all the A's, G's, T's and C's but
we don't know enough of the top-down stuff to make use of that information
We *need* top-down laws in order to use real genetics to make cute polygonal
bunnyrabbits the way you suggest - the Human Genome project is useless to us.
> some company a few months back patented a new method and my understaning was
> very recently the decoded it all, there was gonna be some presidential speech
> and all that jazz.
Yep - they were announcing the 30 CD-ROM-long list of A's, G's, T's and C's.
For fruitfly, it's only one CD-ROM.
> > We don't have 50 million years to wait - and we don't care whether
> > we have the details of anapurinol synthesis in bone marrow exactly
> > right for our 8 foot tall purple mutant penguinoid.
> > :-)
> that kinda detail would be pointless :) Overkill, even. But we can see how the
> real thing works and build our model in a similar fashion. Possibly using a
> subset of the real data.
But there isn't a useful subset.
What makes the giant penguinoid *PURPLE* is the subtle error in it's anapurinol
synthesis pathway. Without that, it would be a normal penguin.
One single misplaced A, G, T or C is all it takes.
Hence - no subset of that lowlevel information is useful.
This is all crazy - and tangential to the real issues of what *might* turn
out to be an interesting technique to 'cut out the artist' where there is
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