Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Louise Glass on the cheapness of data and the importance of being focused

Louise Glass from Berkeley has just received a fellowship that will allow her to develop new projects relating to bioenergy. In a recent interview with Nature, she talks about the changes that she's experienced during her career in science:

What has been the biggest change in science during your career?

The pace. When I was a graduate student, a postdoc across the hall from me sequenced one kilobyte of DNA. We have just finished sequencing the 40-megabyte genome of 100 wild Neurospora isolates. In this day and age, it is so easy to get data. The advantage is being able to ask very elegant questions because you are not limited by data. But it is also easy to lose sight of the biological problem you are trying to address. That is the danger.