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{bio,medical} informatics

Wednesday, November 29, 2000

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find related articles. powered by google. Scientific Computing World THE BEATING HEART OF VIRTUAL ENGINEERING
"As the human genome project nears completion, the problem of how to use genomic information in clinical medicine imposes new demands on computational hardware and software. For the beating heart, and some potentially lethal arrhythmias, it is already possible to create a computational pathway from genetic abnormalities to clinical outcome. Using virtual reality techniques, it may soon be possible to 'hold' a beating heart in your hands and feel the irregular writhing and squirming as it begins to fibrillate.

A major problem for computational molecular biology is to work out how the three-dimensional structure of a protein emerges, for the sequence of bases in DNA encodes only the linear sequence of the protein's amino acids. However, the practical problems are not with how genetic information determines molecular structures but with how it determines functional behaviour: of cells; tissues; organs; and systems within the organism."
find related articles. powered by google. The Physiome Project Description of the Physiome Project
"The PHYSIOME is the quantitative description of the physiological dynamics or functions of the intact organism. The name comes from "physio-" (life) and "-ome" (as a whole).

The PHYSIOME PROJECT is an integrated multi-centric program to design, develop, implement, test and document, archive and disseminate quantitative information and integrative models of the functional behavior of organelles, cells, tissues, organs, and organisms. The long-range goal is to understand and describe the human organism, its physiology and pathophysiology, and to use this understanding in improving human health. but much or most of what must be learned will come from other species. The project aims toward providing models that summarize information on physiological systems, integrating the observations from many laboratories into quantitative, self-consistent, comprehensive descriptions. The goal is to provide to the community of scientists, physicians, teachers, and to medical health professional and industrial communities, functional descriptions of human biological systems in health and disease. A fundamental and major feature of the program is the databasing of the basic observations for retrieval and evaluation.

A network of Physiome Centers could comprise an adaptable international resource for databasing data on the functional aspects of biological systems covering the genome, molecular form and kinetics, cell biology, up to intact functioning organisms. These many databases would provide the raw information that might be integrated via physiological systems models, and should be structured hierarchically for accessibility and utility. The centers would maintain databases of information and models for retrieval over the Internet. The databases and models will have to accommodate data from many species. "

find related articles. powered by google. BioNome General Information
"The biomedical sciences are generating vast amounts of experimental data at an unprecedented rate. Genomes of entire organisms are now being sequenced at a rate of several per year. The databases of three-dimensional molecular structure are growing exponentially and currently contain over 6,000 macromolecular structures. Data on cell and tissue structures and physiological functions is growing at similar rates, aided by technical advances such as improved biological imaging modalities.

The last two decades have been a spectacular success for reductionist biological science. Many molecular mechanisms, such as the action of molecular motors, ligand-receptor interactions, and regulation of protein expression have been elucidated in detail to the level of the primary DNA sequence or the three-dimensional protein structure. With the end-point of the Human Genome Project already in sight, biological science is beginning to define the challenges of a future where extensive and even complete databases will be readily available. The demand for the development of what is becoming known as functional genomics is one such example. The emerging field of genetic circuits is another.

With this explosion of experimental information at the molecular and cellular levels there is an increasing need to re-integrate this detail into an understanding of how these mechanisms interact in a regulated way to produce normal and pathological functions."

"It was within the context of these developments that the BioNOME Resource has been created. It has to provided a service to those in the biological modeling community who share the desire to integrate their models and see them used more widely by experimental biologists and physiologists, physicians and bioengineers."

[ 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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