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{bio,medical} informatics

Wednesday, July 12, 2000

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Yahoo! News Rosetta Inpharmatics' Approach Enables Identification of Gene Functions
"Researchers at Rosetta Inpharmatics, Inc. ( today, in the July 7th issue of Cell, report significant findings demonstrating how high quality, comprehensive gene expression analysis data and powerful computational methods coupled with appropriate genetically modified organisms can be used to decipher the function of previously uncharacterized genes. As described in Cell, the use of this approach enabled Rosetta Inpharmatics to identify a new drug target that had not been previously identified.

"Rosetta Inpharmatics' scientists were able to generate a database of comprehensive gene expression profiles of cells with a wide variety of phenotypes and following different chemical treatments through the accurate and systematic analysis of gene expression en masse. This compendium of gene expression profiles was then used as a pattern matching tool to identify novel gene functions or to understand the biochemical basis of drug action. The results were demonstrated using a FDA reviewed and approved non-prescription drug."
Rosetta Inpharmatics Functional Discovery via a Compendium of Expression Profiles
"Ascertaining the impact of uncharacterized perturbations on the cell is a fundamental problem in biology. Here, we describe how a single assay can be used to monitor hundreds of different cellular functions simultaneously. We constructed a reference database or 'compendium' of expression profiles corresponding to 300 diverse mutations and chemical treatments in S. cerevisiae, and we show that the cellular pathways affected can be determined by pattern matching, even among very subtle profiles. The utility of this approach is validated by examining profiles caused by deletions of uncharacterized genes: we identify and experimentally confirm that eight previously uncharacterized open reading frames encode proteins required for sterol metabolism, cell wall function, mitochondrial respiration, or protein synthesis. We also show that the compendium can be used to characterize pharmacological perturbations by identifying a previously unknown target of the commonly used drug dyclonine."

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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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