HIPPOCAMPUS
Puzzle 2: What equations can define the hippocampus in
health and disease?
Solving this puzzle consists of
reading several hundred reprints,
extracting and standardizing the data, and then fitting them to
regression equations. The challenging part of the solution includes
figuring out how to write the local equations for five different animal
species  given the scarcity of data.
Why would anyone want equations for the hippocampus?
What good are they?
The point of the puzzle is to illustrate
what a datadriven biology offers.
Consider the implications of a solution. If we can write
equations for the hippocampus, then we can also write them for any
and all structures. If, for
example, these equations change in disease or in response to
treatments, then we can define these altered states with variables. This can tell us  specifically  what changes
occur, where and when. When we want to know the antecedents of a given change, we
can unfold the
variables, using the drilldown option. Indeed, equations
offer a
welldefined experimental strategy for tracking the flow of information
between
organs and molecules. Look at this approach from a practical
standpoint. If we can find links
between organs and molecules, then we should also be able to find links between
the clinical and basic sciences.
