Drawing the Line Between Theoretical and Basic Biology
By Isidro T. Savillo
During my early bouts in Theoretical Biology, I was indeed confused because what is being written about a certain subject in Theoretical Biology say for instance Symbiosis has been discussed in Basic Biology specifically in its branch of Physiology and Biochemistry about the integrative Biochemical Systems of Organs. And if we have to zero in to a particular integrative biochemical systems we noticed that it is extended and it keeps on going, passing the signals or the products to the next batch of biochemical pathways which when in favorable situations will lead to the continuity of life or produce life. When I worked with the serum retinol binding like protein (sRBP) of Octopus, I noticed the interdependencies of the retinol and sRBP in order to produce vision which lead me to conclude that they have a particular type of symbiosis. I recalled I had this idea published in Bionet Section of Symbiosis unfortunately that section is closed and I could not bring back the original statement I had. If we compare the Theoretical Biology of Symbiosis with that of Basic Biology, I could not see a clear difference. It seems that in this case the Theoretical Biology definition is just a new interpretation but similar meaning of what is being discussed in academic textbooks and class lectures in Physiology and Biochemistry. Going back to sRBP, to the special definition of Symbiosis and applying it to Theoretical Biology that type of interdependency between the two components the way I look at it can now belong to Theoretical Biology rather than Basic Biology.
Theoretical Biology is a specific extension of what has been concluded in Basic Biology and shooting that conclusive statement in all angles and finding new but supportive statements for that fresh conclusion. It is an exploration of new ideas which one could extensively apply depending to the extent of the individuals biological thoughts and knowledge. Right now the studies in molecular and cell biology is making a stand as sources of conclusive statements or defensive statements for new ideas by Theoretical Biologists. Specific outlining and applying the new literatures would lead to a conclusive statement in Theoretical Biology or putting a conclusive statement from Basic Biology into the limelight so it will receive a barrage of realistic expounding and future assemblages of what it will be and how it will be in the world of science. The conclusive statements in Basic Biology are the guinea pigs that the Theoretical Biologists work about so as to give birth to new knowledge and ideas which are eventually important in the making of new discoveries and to further the enlightenment of the inquisitive minds.