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7 comments on “Elliot Meyerowitz (Caltech , HHMI) 1: Why we need to understand plant development

  1. Elliot Meyerowitz and iBiology, This is just awesome. I was always a metazoan (animal) guy but the more I read and listen about plants, the more I find myself wondering how I ever thought that these magnificent organisms were anything but complex. Thanks for this series and give Dr. Meyerowitz my gratitudes for the work he and his colleagues do every day.

  2. It really hurts to listen to the first minutes of this introduction… In any case as good this guy may be in plant biology as bad he is in understanding fundamental computers science. As he pointed out, it is not the number of parts that set a limitation to what can be computed but also the interaction between the parts. This is a very important factor that sets a limitation to what can be done. Secondly engineering is engineering – not REVERSE-engineering as in biology – and deals with well understood (physical) processes and system. That means, you can go to an university and learn what makes an airplane fly by simply study physics. But, as he said himself, you cannot go to a university and learn what makes a plant become a plant by simply study biology (or physics for that sake). Therefore I would say that CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing) for plants are still years ahead in the future.

    However, I may be wrong about their research progress – if so I am deeply impressed.

  3. Feeling put out when he refers to plants being 'stupid' at 15.21 – plants make their energy from light, contain tens of thousands more genes that animals, are far more epigenetically adaptable and will survive when all else dies. That is hardly stupidity.

  4. "Not a model we'll discuss, because it no longer pertains." Thank you, that is my greatest complaint against most introductory lectures. Excellent seminar, I look forward to parts two and three.

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