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{bio,medical} informatics

Tuesday, April 04, 2000

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Wired New Answers to Age-Old Question
""In order to come up with drugs, we need to understand [the aging] process. Before we didn't know where to aim our gun, but now we have a model," said Danith Ly, lead author of a study published Friday in Science that identified one common element in aging tissues throughout the body. "We've provided a general marker for identifying aging, and a model for explaining the process."

"The researchers examined 6,800 genes associated with aging by using DNA microarrays, or chips, to look at gene-expression patterns. The scientists placed bits of DNA from known genes on a fingernail-sized chip and exposed it to fluorescent light, highlighting the active genes.

Only 61 out of the 6,800 genes studied lit up, indicating that only a small number of genes are active in the aging process. That narrows the playing field for researchers. "

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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