Biological reductionism versus redundancy in a degenerate world

Michael J. Joyner, Laszlo G. Boros, Gregory Fink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The precision medicine narrative relies on the reductionist assumption that there is a strong linkage between genotype and complex traits (phenotypes). This essay uses examples from humans and other “higher” animals to argue that redundant and degenerate mechanisms operating at the physiological level limit both the general utility of this assumption and the specific utility of the precision medicine narrative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-526
Number of pages10
JournalPerspectives in Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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