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{bio,medical} informatics

Tuesday, November 28, 2000

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find related articles. powered by google. BioMedNet EU boosts genomics spending
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"The European Union's research commission says that it will boost support for genomics resource centers and large-scale genomics research. In response to complaints by scientists, the agency has pledged an extra $21 million for "genomic and proteomic databases and repositories of suitable animal models." That is likely to mean more money for centers such as the European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge and the European Mouse Mutant Archive in Rome. The commission has also set aside nearly $25 million for large integrated projects that incorporate research, networks, and training. It is hoping for initiatives employing functional genomics in the service of human health.

Reference: Abbot, A. 2000. Europe boosts genome resource centres . . . Nature 408(6811):393."
redux [07.24.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Biospace Genomics Primer
"With the announcement of the completion of the Human Genome Project, comes the end of the sequencing stage of the genomic revolution and the start of the post-genomic era. The 3 billion letters of DNA coding the human genome have been fully sequenced, well before the initial target date of 2005. This is an important milestone in the efforts to translate this knowledge into practical uses to benefit humankind. For all of its importance, however, the sequencing of the genome is but a humble first step into the Genomic Era. It provides the letters of a new alphabet and a tantalizing glimpse of the future, but the ultimate payoff will be the successful application of genomics to improve human health and quality of life. Knowledge of the sequence of the human genome is virtually useless in and of itself, much as pages in a foreign script are of little value without a way to decipher the meaning and the intelligence to evaluate that meaning. There exists a tremendous opportunity for companies to intercede at multiple levels in this process with technologies and information that will catalyze the realization of the genomics promise in its ultimate incarnation: novel approaches to improving human health."

redux [10.17.00]
find related articles. powered by google. The Scientist N.Y. Panel Explores Genomics Issues
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"What can people expect from biotechnology and genomics? Ten luminaries from the biomedical arena, law, and journalism grappled with issues related to that question at the City University of New York's Graduate Center on Sept. 20. In attendance was an audience of 350 whose research, medical, and counseling careers could hinge on how such issues are resolved. Syracuse University's Gene Media Forum ( sponsored the event.

The recurring theme was biological predictability. Eric Lander, director of the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, in Cambridge, Mass., noted that in the past century, biologists "worked out a disease by being clever enough to figure out what was wrong." The systematic approach of genomics, he continued, would render research largely predictable.

Panelists stressed, nevertheless, that genomics would not yield answers easily. Harold Varmus, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said that biologists were used to studying one gene at a time. Now, he added, "you've got all the parts of the clock dumped on the table, and you can look at them. But, you know, it's a lot harder to put back together, too."

A consensus emerged that much of the public--including many journalists, behavioral scientists, and physicians--either were unaware of this newfound complexity or twisted it into misguided support for genetic determinism. "

redux [06.26.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Wired News Human Genome: Because They Could
""How it's going to help me develop drugs or do anything, I really don't have a clue," said Craig Rosen, executive vice president for research and development at Human Genome Sciences."

""It's like being given the best book in the world, but it's in Russian, and it's incredibly boring to read," said Ewan Birney, a team leader at the European Bioinformatics Research Institute, part of the Sanger Centre, one of the major labs working on the Human Genome Project."

redux [07.11.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Biospace.Com Big Picture Biology
"For most of us, formal biology education begins with complex systems--the traditional dissection of a frog in high school biology class is virtually a rite of passage in the U.S.

But the way many people learn about and invest in biotechnology is at the smallest end of the spectrum--the genome, now often described as the "periodic table" of biology. Genomics and all its related buzzwords have been responsible for much of the media attention, government grants, and investment capital heaped on the biotech industry over the past decade.

But just as there is a whole lot of chemistry that happens in between the periodic table and a birthday cake, there is a lot of biology in between the genome and a living organism. With the completion of biology's periodic table within sight, academics and industry players alike are pondering the best way to apply our hard won knowledge.

The only problem is, the path from genome to system seems to get harder the more we learn."

[ 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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