Fritz Roth is using bioinformatics to untangle genetic data
Some scientists call them “ridiculograms.” Others use the term “hairballs.”
They are scientific diagrams that contain important information, but that are so complex that no human being could decipher their secrets.
Hairballs often turn up in the field of genetics, especially among researchers who study genetic interactions. The human genome has between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. That’s complicated enough, but many hereditary characteristics are caused not by a single gene, but by two, or 20 or 200 mutations conspiring together.