• Question: @all what is the biggest mystery that we still cannot answer about Biology?

    Asked by jackhughes to Judith, Gemma, Emma on 28 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Emma Meaburn

      Emma Meaburn answered on 28 Jan 2019:


      I think we will all have different answers to your questions, based on our own interests and knowledge. For me, I think a really big challenge is to understand how the various steps between DNA and human behaviour link up. How do you get from DNA -> cell -> brain structure-> brain function -> human behavior ? We are often limited to examining the links between two of these steps at any one time. We also tend to focus on adults, and if we really wnat to understand how genes influence human behaviour we need to ask how these steps link and interact across development… from birth, toddlerhood, childhood all the way into adulthood.

    • Photo: Judith Sleeman

      Judith Sleeman answered on 28 Jan 2019:


      Emma’s right: we all have our biases and tend to concentrate on very specific areas, so it can be hard to back off and look at the wider perspective. In my work, the biggest question is probably ‘how do different types of mutation in different genes all result in damage to motor neurones (and how can we prevent this)’. For the widest perspective I can get my head round, though, I think ‘how and why did biological life-forms arise in the first place?’ would be the biggest mystery. You know, the basic meaning of life!!

      What do you think is the biggest mystery?

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