In this essay I argue that Neo-Darwinism ultimately led to an oversimplified genotype equals phenotype view of human disease. This view has been called into question by the unexpected results of the Human Genome Project which has painted a far more complex picture of the genetic features of human disease than was anticipated. Cell centric Systems Biology is now attempting to reconcile this complexity. However, it too is limited because most common chronic diseases have systemic components not predicted by their intracellular responses alone. In this context, congestive heart failure is a classic example of this general problem and I discuss it as a systemic disease vs. one solely related to dysfunctional cardiomyocytes. I close by arguing that a physiological perspective is essential to reconcile reductionism with what is required to understand and treat disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology