The Product Guides the Process: Discovering Disease Mechanisms

Publication Year:
2017
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13176
Author(s):
Darden, Lindley; Pal, Lipika R.; Kundu, Kunal; Moult, John
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preprint description
The nature of the product to be discovered guides the reasoning to discover it. Biologists and medical researchers often search for mechanisms. The "new mechanistic philosophy of science" provides resources about the nature of biological mechanisms that aid the discovery of mechanisms. Here, we apply these resources to the discovery of mechanisms in medicine. A new diagrammatic representation of a disease mechanism chain indicates both what is known and, most significantly, what is not known at a given time, thereby guiding the researcher and collaborators in discovery. Mechanisms of genetic diseases provide the examples.