University of Konstanz
Graduiertenkolleg / PhD Program
Computer and Information Science

Colloquium of the Department and the PhD Program


Why we need new concepts: On Complexity and Causality in Biology


Prof. Dr. Werner Mewes, Helmholtz Zentrum and TU München
Munich, Germany

date & place

Tuesday, 10.07.2012, 17:00 h
Room A703


As humans, we are limited in our cognitive capacities. Cognition enables us to efficiently filter the important from the marginal, to simplify and to concentrate on the important information. The tradition in life sciences was descriptive, the intelligent approach was to find explanations for the unexplainable: genes were called genes as causal entities before DNA as a correlate for genes was known. With the advancement of genome based molecular biology, the insight grew that biological systems are complex, hardly ever being explained by simple causalities. With the collection of multidimensional data, the perception of biological processes becomes more and more unfeasible. I will talk about simplifiers and dividers and describe strong and weak causalities and refer to some problems to realize personalized medicine for better treatment of common and rare diseases.