Once again physicists have made the great biological leap. It took physicists to design and carry out the experiments that unlocked neurophysiology. Now a group of physicists, biophysicists and a pathologist have published a flux balance analysis of all the metabolic pathways in our favorite bacteria, E. coli.
In a time when genetic and protein data are being generated at a remarkable rate, few people in biology have been able to come out of reductionism and into systemic thinking. The sheer amount of data is daunting, and excluding the biophysicists, many biologists don’t use (or need) math harder than ANOVA or a two-tailed T test.
For those interested in more of the crunchy details, the abstract from PubMed is below.