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From X-rays to DNA

Un libro in lingua di Lee W. David Drazen Jeffrey (CON) Sharp Phillip A. (CON) Langer Robert S. (CON) edito da Mit Pr, 2013

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Engineering has been an essential collaborator in biological research andbreakthroughs in biology are often enabled by technological advances. Decoding the double helixstructure of DNA, for example, only became possible after significant advances in such technologiesas X-ray diffraction and gel electrophoresis. Diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis improved asnew technologies -- including the stethoscope, the microscope, and the X-ray -- developed. Theseengineering breakthroughs take place away from the biology lab, and many years may elapse before thetechnology becomes available to biologists. In this book, David Lee argues for concurrentengineering -- the convergence of engineering and biological research -- as a means to acceleratethe pace of biological discovery and its application to diagnosis and treatment. He presentsextensive case studies and introduces a metric to measure the time between technological developmentand biological discovery.

Investigating a series of major biological discoveriesthat range from pasteurization to electron microscopy, Lee finds that it took an average of fortyyears for the necessary technology to become available for laboratory use. Lee calls for newapproaches to research and funding to encourage a tighter, more collaborative coupling ofengineering and biology. Only then, he argues, will we see the rapid advances in the life sciencesthat are critically needed for life-saving diagnosis and treatment.

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