The importance of anatomical substrates
At Duke University we have recently formed a Songbird Consortium, whose purpose is to utilize multi-level analysis to decipher how the brain learns and generates complex behavior. Songbirds share with humans the rare trait of vocal learning. This makes them an important model system for language learning. Like many other biological systems, we have found that deciphering brain function requires multiple levels of analyses, including electrophysiology, anatomy, genomics, behavior, and social context. However, the level of complexity above the genome that permeates throughout most biological systems is the anatomical substrate. DNA spots on microarray slides, bands on gels, gene sequences, etc., are not sufficient to capture this biological complexity. In this presentation, I will discuss the makeup of the Songbird Consortium, the importance of multi-level analysis, and in particular, the importance of considering the anatomical substrate in genomic studies, from bacteria, to songbirds, to humans.
Proceedings of the Atlantic Symposium on Computational Biology and Genome Information Systems and Technolgoy, Cbgist 2001
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